Ask anyone who has ever been to Hawaii, and they will tell you that Aloha, translates to: “hello,” “good bye,” and/or “I love you,” depending on the circumstances. Well after last Friday night’s Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) annual Gala, we might have to add “job well done” and “great party” to the list of possible translations.
LCF’s annual fundraising Gala at Lionscrest Manor was an unqualified success in any language.
An absolutely giant thank-you has to go out to the “Big Kahunas” Bob and Leona Forsberg, hosts and owners of Lionscrest, who had the Manor decked out and looking great. The gala wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t held up on the hill. Also big ups go to Dan and Kristin Bruckner of A Spice of Life catering. The meal was great (especially the little pull-pork and pineapple pizza hor d’oeuvres). A thank-you also has to go out to all the local/area businesses and individuals who donated so much to the auctions and bar, etc. This was truly a community endeavor, and could not have been possible without all of the generous donations.
The numbers are still being crunched, but it looks as if this may very well turn out to be the most successful Gala ever. The “Paddle Raiser” took in almost $12,000. The “Live” auction (a Hawaiian feast by Sue Wratten, a floral painting by Mimi Elmore, and seven nights in a Hawaii condo, compliments of the Forsbergs) and the “Silent” auction (literally two pages of donated items) together brought in another $16,000. Add to that, gifts and ticket sales, and the total for the evening was somewhere just north of $30,000!
And the best thing about the evening is that all the money that was raised goes back into the community in the form of grants to organizations, scholarships, and worthy causes that help to make Lyons such a special place to live. In all, the LCF gave out twenty-eight grants, totaling slightly more than fifty-one thousand dollars. The grants ranged in amount from five hundred dollars, to as much as five thousand. The recipients covered the spectrum of the Lyons community; history camp for elementary school children to meals-on-wheels for our elderly residents, from the 9Health Fair to the holiday fireworks display, books for reading programs to the Lyons Youth Baseball and Softball Association, area humane societies to concerts in the park, the high school robotics team to the Lyons Community Food Pantry. The LCF mission statement says it all, “The Lyons Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area."
Job well done, you throw a great party! Can’t wait till next year. Until then, “Aloha.