Close to 300 guests attended this year’s Tux and Tennies Gala and Auction. Throughout the evening, the attendees raised nearly $140,000 directly benefitting the programs and services for the children at Whaley Children’s Center.
The money raised at this event is close to double the amount raised at Whaley Children’s Centers previous highest grossing event—a 2006 gala which raised $70,985.
With the help of Special Occasions, Vogt’s Flowers, Five Star Entertainment, Simply Elegant Events, Airhead Balloons, Gerych’s and Grand Blanc Motocars, title sponsor and host of the event, the venue was transformed from a car dealership and service center into a beautiful ballroom.
“I am so proud of the outcome of this event,” said Fred Hensler, chairman of the Tux & Tennies committee and owner of Hensler & Associates Wealth Management. “The committee and I put immense amounts of effort into the planning of this evening, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout.”
The silent and live auction, which grossed $60,500, featured items such as a hot tub donated by Midwest Pools, a Bahamas timeshare donated by Jon Gerych, and a Vail, Colo. vacation donated by Phil Hagerman. Guests also had the opportunity to win a Rolex watch, donated by Medawar Jewelers, which contributed to $13,000 to the final total.
In addition to the Rolex watch donation, Ronny Medawar led a surprise appeal for Whaley’s Project Joy campaign. This campaign provides the necessary funding to renovate the bedrooms of children at the Center into safe and comfortable safe havens for our fragile children. With a price tag of $1500 per bedroom, Medawar pledged to fund the completion of 3 bedrooms, ultimately inspiring 14 other guests to make similar pledges. In total, 23 bedrooms were sponsored for a total of $34,500.
“I was in complete disbelief when Ronny inspired 14 of our guests to join him in renovating the bedrooms at Whaley,” said Kevin Roach, President and CEO of Whaley Children’s Center. “It was overwhelming to have so many people connect with our cause and commit to support the future of both our Center and our children.”
The evening included a cocktail hour performance by Ina Yoon, pianist with the Flint Institute of Music, dinnertime entertainment from Mark Randisi featuring The Motor City Horns and the Motor City Jazz Orchestra as well as plenty of other support from over 40 sponsors including Grand Blanc Motorcars, Icon Mortgage, Landaal Packaging, Dr. Samasandrapalya Kiran and Dr. Mona Hardas, Elga Credit Union, the Loeb Trust with First Merit Bank and McLaren Health Care.
Whaley Children’s Center is an independent, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1926 that provides residential child care services to children age 5- 17 years old who have suffered chronic and profound abuse and neglect. The services provided to children and families include residential treatment, group homes, and family counseling and aftercare service. To learn more about Whaley Children’s Center, visit www.whaleychildren.org.