The 2022 SARAH Gala was a resounding success! We were elated to gather with so many new and old friends on Wednesday, May 18th for the annual SARAH Gala. It was great to be back at Woodwinds in Branford, CT to enjoy their beautiful venue and delicious food. Upon arrival, guests were treated to live music from The Grateful Friend Band. The energy and enthusiasm from cocktail hour and the silent auction carried into the plated dinner and evening program.
To kick-off the evening program, guests were treated to a wonderful musical performance by the SARAH Tuxis Tuners. The joy and love of music permeated throughout the room as guests sang along with the Tuners to classics such as Sweet Caroline. Following dinner, the room was moved by the powerful and emotional words shared by new SARAH Foundation board member, Joe LiPuma, as he spoke about his son Jack and their family’s experience with Jack’s autism diagnosis. Now an adult, Jack is supported through day and recreation programs offered by SARAH.
There was also a surprise presentation by Rick Taylor and our friends at Illuminate who shared they recently hosted a company fundraiser to celebrate Autism Awareness Month with proceeds from the event benefitting SARAH. Rick and Illuminate presented a check for $15,000! Amazing!
The evening program closed with a wildly successful live auction and raise the paddle campaign led by the charismatic John Peters. The live auction featured nine exciting items including The Rambling Inn mobile Irish pub, a weekend getaway in Boston, a private group cruise on a 52ft Tiara motorboat, Pizza Truck for 50, Lobster Bake for 10 and more! The items and experiences were provided by numerous partners and friends, and we are grateful for their support.
The raise the paddle campaign ended the evening on a high note thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift of $15,000 from the Scully Family Foundation plus two $10,000 commitments in the room that night as well as numerous others pledging gifts ranging from $5,000 to $100 dollars. It was an overwhelming display of generosity bringing many in the room to tears of joy seeing the response of so many to support SARAH’s mission.
The success of the event was driven by the energy and tenacity of our gala chair, Carolyn Wolff, and the entire committee comprised of Kathy Duncan, Erin Duques, Sally Esborn, Terese Howey, Suzanne McCormick, Jamie Rubin and Heidi Tuebert. The coordination of the event was led by SARAH Foundation staff member, Kim Vigliotti, without whom this event would not have been possible.
Huge thanks to all of our generous sponsors led by Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery, Terese Howey, Seedlings Foundation, Carolyn and Barry Wolff and Yusen. See the complete list of sponsors below. Thank you for supporting SARAH!
Special thanks to the following in-kind service providers: Mark Johnson Photography for capturing wonderful images throughout the event (see images below). Flowers on the Green for providing the beautiful center pieces. Guilford Savings Bank volunteers for ensuring the check-in and check-out process was seamless. Finally, John Peters for his talents to make the live auction and raise the paddle a success.
The full gallery of photos can be found here: https://client.markjohnson.photo/sf. Password: 0923.