The YMCA of Metro North is hosting its annual Where in the World fundraising gala on Thursday, September 17 at 7:00pm.  This year’s event, appropriately titled “Where in the World Did 2020 Go?” will be held virtually with entertainment, auction items, and a raffle grand prize of $5,000 with all proceeds benefiting critical youth services that support online learning experiences that schools are providing.  Participants are asked to join the event and bid on items, purchase raffle tickets, and make donations to support scholarships and access to Y Academy, youth and teen drop-in centers, food distribution services, aquatic safety programs, leadership development and more.

“This year our event is more critical than ever,” said Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “Our commitment to providing the tools for success to kids in our communities has not wavered, despite Covid-19.  The event will support our efforts in providing meals to all, enhancing our Y Academy experience to align with public schools, recruiting and retaining high quality staff and making sure ALL kids have an experience that is positive, fun and safe.”

The gala is supported by its lead sponsors GraVoc in Peabody, who is donating the $5,000 cash prize, and Old Neighborhood Foods in Lynn. Celebrity Chef Paul Wahlberg is donating an exclusively prepared in-home meal for 10 to be auctioned off to event participants. Wahlberg is also promoting the gala with a video appeal to supporters asking for donations leading up to the online event.

“We believe in the mission of the YMCA as it relates to healthy living and supporting our community,” said Dave Gravel, President and CEO of GraVoc. “We strongly believe that the work of the YMCA with youth is critically important to their development. We are passionate about ensuring that all children, regardless of income, have the ability to participate in YMCA programs, and that is why we stay actively involved in helping to achieve that goal. My wife Cathy and I have been blessed with 4 healthy children and 6 healthy grandchildren and we have worked hard to create a good business that can sustain many families. We believe it is our responsibility to share those blessings with those who may not be as fortunate.”

Auction items can be bid on in advance of the online event with bids accepted throughout the gala. Prizes will also be raffled off during the event, culminating with the $5,000 grand prize. Only 250 raffle chances are available- chances are $100 each and can be purchased here.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and the YMCA of Metro North is also accepting donations of additional auction items and raffle prizes. Please contact Julie Gerraughty if you are interesting in donating an item.