Thanks to over 350 guests, nearly 30 sponsors, several generous donors, and volunteers, the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living raised over $80,000 at the Annual Gala Benefit Auction and 35th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Funds go towards the Center’s vital programing dedicated to the success of children, youth, adults and seniors with disabilities at home, at work and in the community.
Guests celebrated the Ann Arbor CIL’s past 35 years at the sponsored event space in the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex over dinner, a chocolate fountain (provided by Maximum Delights), large silent and live auctions, raffle drawings, and prizes awarded by our Title Sponsor, Select Ride. Our live auction this year was jam packed with exciting new items, including: Bob Seger autographed guitar, flight over the Big House, African Safari, Hawaiian Getaway, VIP flights to wine tours, Thanksgiving Day football tickets, T4 NuStep, Gordie Howe autographed Red Wings jersey and MUCH MORE!
New to this year, Top Ten Billboard Artist, Billy McLaughin, performed at the event. With his strong connection with the center, he flew in early from a conference in Barcelona to be a part of the gala. Just over 10 years ago, Billy was diagnosed withFocal Dystonia causing his music career to crumble. The artist focused on retraining himself how to play with his left hand instead of focusing on playing his instrument in a style that he could no longer perform.
Billy McLaughlin truly captivated the audience and nailed the meaning of the event and center’s mission home with a “Can Do” message and came away inspired. “I came to Ann Arbor hoping to inspire people to support the great work of CIL and in the process I ended up being the one inspired! This organization does amazing work on a daily basis to make the lives of individuals with disabilities better in so many ways…..CIL ROCKS!”
Each year, we dedicate a part of the gala towards raising funds for an item related to our mission at the center. This year, thanks to our generous donors, we raised more than $10,000 to fulfill our need for push buttons on our bathroom doors to make them more accessible, a projector for our education, youth and advocacy programming, and way finding signage. We are proud to continue to serve as a lead example in advocacy and accessibility in the community.
We are already getting excited for next year…mark your calendars for 2012!
To get involved, contact:
View Photos of the Event:
CLICK HERE to view professional photos of the event taken by David Trumpie and donated by NuStep!
CLICK HERE to view photos from guests of the event.