VALPARAISO | Opportunity Enterprises held their 22nd Annual Gala on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville. Hosted by Delta Theta Tau sorority, the event attracted more than 500 guests and raised a record breaking $208,000.
The proceeds from this year’s gala will benefit OE’s Respite Program, which provides day and overnight care for children and adults with disabilities still living in their family homes. “Caregiver relief is essential for families with children who have special needs,” said David Stupay, President and CEO of Opportunity Enterprises. “On Saturday, we had the opportunity to share with our guests the stories and successes of our families and participants, and the response was overwhelming. By every measure, the event was an amazing success. We exceeded all of our targets and projections and more than doubled our revenue from last year. I am sincerely thankful for the incredible generosity of our supporters and am proud of the impact that the proceeds will make in the lives of families across Northwest Indiana.”
During the evening, OE recognized the work of Gary Mitchell, former President and CEO, by presenting him with the Opportunity Enterprises Lifetime Achievement Award. “It was an honor to be able to recognize Gary Mitchell for his service to OE,” said Stupay. “Gary helped build OE into what it is today, and I am thrilled and humbled to be carrying on his legacy. I look forward to taking the agency to new levels.”
“The energy at this year’s event was exceptional” said Michelle Andres, an OE Board Member and Gala Committee member. “There is a strong sense of excitement amongst our donors about OE’s leadership and the future of the agency, and they expressed their enthusiasm tonight with their tremendous generosity. It was truly exciting to see so many people out supporting Opportunity Enterprises and becoming passionate about our mission and our programming.”
Other highlights included a musical performance of the song “Let It Go” by Mabel, an OE participant, dances by Anthony and Julie Coberg of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, a performance by Chicago’s Rhythm City, and drawing the winner of the raffle for a two year lease on a VW Beetle donated by Team Volkswagen-Audi.