October 20, 2017 was an historic evening for AHCH - and it was a great deal of fun as well.
We hosted the 14th annual Autumn Night Out at the Poland Springs Inn and Resort, and more than 200 of our friends, including donors, sponsors and supporters, joined us for a night of good food, fun and philanthropy.
The silent and live auctions featured a wide array of items donated by many area organizations and individuals, and the bidding was spirited. Highlighting the live auction were many unique items, including an adult-sized rocking horse handcrafted from wood donated by Thomas Moser; an antique sewing table that was meticulously refinished and converted into a wine rack; and an African safari adventure that was described as a trip of a lifetime.
This year’s event featured a board game theme which added to the festive atmosphere. One of our volunteers, Paul Dupuis, dressed as the iconic Monopoly Man, originally known as Rich Uncle Pennybags. Maine humorist Gary Crocker served as the auctioneer while Norm Karkos was the Master of Ceremonies. The fast-paced evening ended with dancing to the Larry Williams Band.
Virtually all proceeds from this event benefit AHCH’s hospice program and the generosity was overwhelming. For the first time, Autumn Night Out raised more than $100,000, shattering the previous high-water mark of $71,000.
After the live auction, a moving video told the story of some special ways that the organization has helped patients by going above and beyond and assisting with some non-medical needs. The examples featured included coordinating a trip to a gravesite so that a dying hospice patient could visit his parents’ resting place one more time and making a Red Sox fan’s dying wish to visit Fenway Park to see his home team play come true.
The video helped to launch the new Life Happens Fund, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of our patients when there are no other means to do so. Those in attendance were asked to make a donation to the fund by raising their bidding number. When all was said and done, $16,000 was raised.
As you may know, the success of events like this one depends on so many. There were many sponsors, led by our premier sponsors Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; TD Bank; Winxnet; Cross Insurance; Blue Payment Agency; Employee Benefit Solutions; and Suzanne and Rupert Grover.
Then, there were the Autumn Night Out Committee of volunteers, who spent nearly nine months planning and executing those plans to ensure success. Cyndi Robbins once again served as the event chair and her leadership was pivotal. Cathy MacDonald also played a key role as the auction solicitation chair. The wide variety and uniqueness of the donated auction items certainly made a difference in the final fundraising tally.
Last but certainly not least were the 200-plus people who chose to spend a Friday night with us. Their generosity and fun-loving spirit made the evening very special and memorable.
Thank you to all who helped us make history, and mark your calendars for the 15th addition of Autumn Night Out on October 19, 2018.