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With the tip of a cowboy hat and the click of a few silver spurs, family, friends and generous donors of Benedictine Programs and Services helped to raise over $217,500 at the 2018 Spring Benefit: A Night in the Wild West, hosted at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Md., April 27-28.
The annual fundraising gala supports the mission of Benedictine to help children and adults with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential.
“When I think of the Wild West, I think about people who were explorers; people who weren’t afraid to follow a different path,” said Benedictine Executive Director, Scott Evans. “This path came with little certainty, but they charged forward journeying with the hope of new opportunities and experiences. When you look at Benedictine’s history, the Sister’s decided to follow a new path in 1959 – on that many others were not following at the time. They developed a mission that guided them on their journey and continues to guide us today.”
In total over 300 guests participated in the benefit weekend that kicked off with a board meeting Friday morning that featured a staff and client panel where members of Benedictine’s leadership team engaged with individuals and shared mission moments. The meeting also served to recognize Benedictine’s outgoing Board President, Benjamin J. “Patrick” Denihan, Jr. and incoming President Thomas Collamore, as well as the appointment of Maggie Madden to Vice President.
Each year the Board of Directors honors a staff person during Spring Benefit weekend by presenting the Sister Jeanette Award during Friday’s Welcome Reception. The Award, established in 2012 in honor of Sister Jeannette Murray who served at Benedictine for over 30 years, represents the values and vision of the Benedictine community. This year, Caren Parry received the Sister Jeannette Award. Parry has served many roles in her 25 years at Benedictine from a one-on-one aide, to an assistant in the speech department to now managing the organizations on campus silk printing, embroidery and promotion business.
Benefit Co-chairs, Cindy Doukas and Mia Marinucci, along with event volunteers, delivered an authentic Western theme for guests complete with a hitched horse on Dover St., a lively piano playing saloon tunes and a traveling snake oil salesmen and his medicine show stagecoach.
The evening of hospitality and philanthropy included a chuckwagon supper and a live auction with guest auctioneer Barry Smale, Benedictine Foundation director. Guests raised their paddle to bid on items from a 100 percent donated auction list including several destination stays as well as tickets to Hamilton in D.C. and the NFL rivalry match-up between the Redskins and Cowboys, contributing $50,000 to the total raised for the event.
As the hallmark fundraising event for the Benedictine Foundation, the gala helps to fund specific projects like new community living options, vocational training and to underwrite ongoing support for the education and care of individuals served every day, 365 days a year. The Foundation looks forward to a special Spring Benefit next year which will also celebrate the organizations 60th anniversary.