DANVERS — More than 600 North Shore residents attended the YMCA of the North Shore’s annual, sold-out gala, The Wanderlust Ball, Nov. 2 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Boston North Shore, raising more than $1 million for the first time in the event’s history. Each year this event sets out to raise the funds needed to support the ever-growing and diverse needs of individuals, families, and children across the North Shore and Southern New Hampshire.
The live auction and fund-a-need portion of the evening also raised $430,000 to help support the Y’s latest initiative, Corner Stone for cancer patients and their families. This program has provided daily living support to nearly 2,000 participants, at no cost, since its inception less than a year ago. Corner Stone participant Alan Kraning said, “Cancer can tear a family apart. My survival and the tension in my family were made so much easier because of the help and support of the Y. Survival requires goals and doing whatever it takes to achieve them and the people at the Y helped me do just that.”
YMCA of the North Shore CEO Chris Lovasco said, “The important role the Y plays as a resource for the community is evident in the work we do at each of our seven YMCA locations and across all 25 communities we serve. The dedication of our friends and community supporters who join us each year is a testament to their commitment to improving the lives of others. I am humbled by the generosity and unwavering determination that fills the room each and every year, with the sole purpose of helping those who need us most.”
The evening’s entertainment included the Akwaaba Dance Group and a performance by “America’s Got Talent” finalist Amanda Mena of Lynn. Honorary chairs and Swampscott residents Tricia and Bruce Herring offered generous support, which paved the way for the Y to surpass its goal. Other guests included Gov. Charlie Baker and his wife, Lauren Baker, of Swampscott, and YMCA of the North Shore Board chair Jennifer Buras and her husband, Chris Carmosino, also of Swampscott.
Chief Advancement Officer Marjorie Cregg said, “This event furthers our ability to offer essential Y services. The Y’s continued financial support for families who are part of our education and health initiatives, camp and more is made possible by crucial fundraising throughout the year culminating with our annual gala. With the help of the incredible North Shore community, generous donors, staff, and volunteers, the YMCA of the North Shore will award more than $3 million in financial scholarships this year.”