Opportunity Enterprises held their 24th annual Gala Fundraiser, one of the most exciting OE events of the year, on Saturday evening.This year the fundraiser was complete with a live auction, silent auction, a musical performance from some of OE’s clients, a wonderful program, a raffle drawing, and last but not least a live band from Chicago!
Since 1967 Opportunity Enterprises has helped individuals with developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential and live a full, enriching life. Delta Theta Tau is a huge part of Opportunity Enterprises and was huge focus at the this year’s Gala. Delta Theta Tau began its commitment to people with developmental disabilities in Porter County in 1957.
In 1993, to help celebrate Opportunity Enterprises’ 25th anniversary, the Deltas hosted a gala to celebrate the milestone and to benefit Opportunity Enterprises. This gala was such a success that it has become an annual event, and has raised nearly $1.7 million to support the clients of OE. This year’s Gala was entitled “A Place to Grow” and took place from 6-11:30 p.m. at Avalon Manor (3550 US-30, Merrillville, IN 46410).
Delta Theta Tau member, Brett Galloway, says “Delta’s have taught me what it means to be part of something bigger than myself, Delta’s have shown me not only the importance of participating in philanthropy but truly wanting to help others and help themselves.” To kick off the program, OE showed a video starring some of their best clients. Ashely, Billy, Lauren, Pearl, Richie, and Diamesha starred in a video shot at Taltree Arboretum and Gardens, showing what OE is all about. As this left many spectators very emotional, another video was shown about one of OE’s most special clients, Richie. Shortly after the video was shown about Richie’s disability, and how he overcame it and lived a normal life through OE was shown, his parents and two sisters took the stage with him.
Richie and his family raised over $79,000 just by asking the inspired crowd to give whatever they could, and to raise their bid number in the air for various prices being listed. If this wasn’t emotional enough, Some of the stars in the video, and some of OE’s best clients, sang a beautiful song that left many in tears.
The exciting live auction that included a trip to Costa Rica, a signed hawks jersey, and a trip to South Africa raised over $10,000. Which set this year’s Gala more than $5,000 dollars more than last year’s Gala. Needless to say, a huge success.
Opportunity Enterprises also puts a huge emphasis and gratitude on their sponsors, Porter Regional Hospital, M&S Collisions, Centier Bank, Franciscan Alliance, Lakeshore Bone and Joint, NIPSCO, Precision Control Systems, Task Force Tips, The Ross Group, The Times Media Company, White Lodging, the Burnell family, and the Yast family.
This year Strack and Van Til, another one of OE’s sponsors particiated in a fundraiser going on with all Strack and Van Til stores in Indiana, as a part of National Developmental Disability Month, which OE is very grateful for. “This years theme, ‘A Place to Grow’ represents OE as the perfect environment for hundreds of our friends and neighbors as they discover the best version of themselves. Tonight we are celebrating what this theme means to men and women we are privileged to serve” says Ellen DeMartinis, CEO of Opportunity Enterprises.
“Whether this is your first or twenty-fourth gala with us, we hope that you leave tonight feeling inspired about our mission and are moved to support Opportunity Enterprises as the best place to grow”.