Nearly 400 sports fans celebrated “Let the Games Begin!” to benefit St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center on June 3rd at Temple B’rith Kodesh. This 21st annual auction and party, hosted by Chairpersons Tom and Betty Richards, raised a profit of $75,000, which will benefit ongoing health care programs for the uninsured and under-insured.
Guests arriving in their favorite team jerseys enjoyed plentiful beer and wine-tasting stations, stadium-style treats at grazing stations, and jazz music by Four on the Floor Jazz Quartet. More than 150 silent and live items were offered by guest auctioneer, Dr. John Gillespie. New York Yankees, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Sabres game tickets, as well as dinner for eight catered by Sr. Christine Wagner, were among the highest-raising auction items.
Notre Dame legend and #1 NFL 1972 draft pick Walt Patulski was on hand to greet guests and pose for photos with guests and his 1971 Lombardi Award. Red Wings mascot “Spikes” also made an entertaining appearance. A 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series ring was also on display.
Honorary Chairpersons Tom and Betty Richards addressed the crowd, stating, “We are pleased to support the Neighborhood Center. The Center provides a wonderful service to the Rochester community. This is a great way to give the Center our support.”
Christine Wagner, SSJ, Executive Director, thanked the crowd stating, “We are grateful for so many sponsors and friends who make our work possible.” She also called forward Dr. Warren Glaser, who recently retired from his volunteer position, providing excellent care to patients two days per week for the past 17 years, to present him with a gift.
Sponsors of the event included Dave Guadagnino and Mary Beauchamp, the Monroe Plan for Medical Care, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gallo & Iacovangelo, Highland Hospital/University of Rochester, The Monroe County Dental Society, Rochester Regional Health, St. John Fisher College, and many more. Outstanding decorations made up of all sports items, including bicycle tires, helmets, bats, balls, tennis rackets, trophies and banners were designed by Leigh Van Ostrand Latham, and created and donated by members of the event steering committee.
The Neighborhood Center is grateful to all “MVP’s” who helped make “Games” a successâ€¦from committee members, to sponsors, to auction donors and guests. Each year, the success of the annual fund raiser rests on such support.