It was a night of mischief and revelry as more than 300 guests gathered at Greenhaven Golf and Banquet Center in Anoka for the Guardian Angels 11th Annual Gala.
The Masquerade Ball was a fundraiser for the Guardian Angels Wellness Center, Club GA. Guests got in the spirit of the event with a colorful array of masks to celebrate the evening’s theme. They enjoyed games and raffles as well as live and silent auctions, said Deb Weston, the director of fund development for Guardian Angels.
Between the auctions and sponsorships, it’s estimated that more than $85,000 has been raised.
A mystery host “Phantom,” Brian Budahn, led the evening’s program and performed “Music of the Night” and other songs.
Gala co-chairs Linda Krieger and Debbie Urista, along with Guardian Angels President/CEO Dan Dixon, bestowed thanks to committee members, sponsors, donors and guests for their support of the event. A short video, created and donated by ERTV Channel 12, was played to highlight Club GA.
The finale was the live auction, which was was led by auctioneer Dean Tveit of Border Country Auctions. He helped raise more than 6,800 for items and another $6,900 for wellness equipment and memberships for seniors experiencing financial hardships.
The silent auction, meanwhile, raised another $11,500. New to the silent auction was the use of electronic devices to bid on items. Volunteers from the Elk River National Honor Society were on hand to provide training to guests. This technology gave guests the ability to bid on auction items from the comfort of their seats.
Club GA was established last year, with help from supporters, vendors and the community during Guardian Angels 10th Annual Gala.
Club GA Wellness Center opened its doors Oct. 1 and, in five months, has already made a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of its members, ages 50-96, with an average age of 73, Weston said. Club GA is available to all seniors in the community.
“Amazing testimonials are constant – one in particular, from a woman who suffered a stroke several years ago and was unable to walk, and now, due to her new exercise program, is walking with the aid of a walker,” Weston said.
Guardian Angels plans continued fundraising to support Club GA: to purchase additional exercise equipment specifically designed for aging adults and to provide membership subsidies to seniors experiencing financial hardship.
“Unfortunately, there is no financial support available through the county and state to help Guardian Angels fund the start-up of this vital program,” Weston said. “It has been from the outpouring of volunteer efforts and financial support from so many that Club GA is in operation…improving the health and well-being of so many of our seniors.”