To the editor:
The Greater Newburyport and Greater Haverhill communities again joined Opportunity Works on the journey of empowering and changing the lives of people with disabilities. The support of sponsors, volunteers, auctioneers, donors, bidders, media and businesses was amazing. Opportunity Works’ board of directors, staff, families and the people we serve are very grateful to each and every one of you. Opportunity Works’ annual Lend-a-Hand Auction, in partnership with Comcast, raised close to $80,000 to help continue our much needed programs and services.
Individuals and family members look to Opportunity Works with relief and appreciation for the professional, person-centered care. Funding received from your contributions secures the necessary tools and possibilities that lead to a more independent life for many.
We literally could not undertake the auction without the time and efforts of more than 300 volunteers. For the month before the auction, many volunteers spend their time soliciting items, writing descriptions, cooking for other volunteers and staff. During auction week, volunteers work nonstop. Auction day sees people answering phones, auctioneering, broadcasting, modeling, collecting bids and so much more. We cannot thank you enough. Our volunteers are crucial to the success of the event and many have volunteered for years. Congratulations to Jan Ryan, our 2013 Auction Shining Star volunteer!
Auction week brought in more than 600 donated items. On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Nock Middle School cafeteria was again transformed as several hundred volunteers worked in shifts throughout the day to ensure a smooth live broadcast of our unique auction. With the efforts of each city and town’s cable access station, the auction aired on nine Comcast cable TV stations throughout the Merrimack Valley, including Rowley, Byfield, Ipswich, Andover, Bradford, Georgetown, West Newbury, South Hampton, Salisbury, Groveland, Amesbury, Newburyport, Merrimac and Haverhill, and was streamed live through www.portmedia.org.
A very special thank you to our Premier Sponsors, Institution for Savings and The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank. We also thank our Corporate Sponsors: Rochester Electronics, Mersen and Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. This year, our Community Sponsors were Label Print America, Matter Communications, Rotary Club of Newburyport, Swasey Fund and TD Bank. So many other sponsors have our gratitude as well: Amesbury Animal Hospital, Amesbury Lions Club, Ancient Order of Hiberians, Anna Jaques Hospital, Appleton Eye Associates, Arthur S. Page Insurance, Bernier Physical Therapy Associates, Inc.; Brian Charon,; Chase & Lunt Insurance, College Planning Services, Connolly & Connolly, David and Janet Loring, Donald M. Greenough, Economised Time Services, Elliot, Rogers and Woodworth Funeral Home, Explorers Club, First Ipswich Bank, Friends of Newburyport Council on Aging; Fritz, Deguglielmo LLC; Haverhill Bank, Haverhill Community Television, Hero Coatings, ITW Foils, John Leary, CPA: Joppa Flats Running Club, Karen Holmes Physical Therapy LLC, Knights of Columbus, Newburyport; LeBaron Bonney, Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, Merrimacport United Methodist Church, Mike and Peg Taranda, Newburyport Art Association, Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, Newburyport Firefighters Local 827, Newburyport Lions Club, Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women, Packaging Specialties, Nick’s Pizza, Parker River Dental, People’s United Methodist Church, Rheebo.com, Mark and Gail Romeo, Salter Transportation, Inc.; Strem Chemical, Inc.; The Governor’s Academy, The Oddfellows of Newburyport, The Provident Bank, W.C. Cammett Engineering, Inc.; and Mike and Mary Zerigian.
Thank you to Comcast, Haverhill Community TV, Port Media and WNBP 1450 AM and 106.1 FM for their support and technical expertise; emcees Richard Eaton, Win Damon, and Peter Falcone; The Daily News, Rheebo.com; the Eagle-Tribune; The Haverhill Gazette; Haverhill, Newburyport and Amesbury chambers of commerce for spreading the word, and to Encompass Apparel, Grossman Marketing, the Black Duck, Chococoa Baking Company and the Nock Middle School.
A special thanks to our fabulous auction party hosts: Glenn’s Restaurant, Plum Island Beachcoma, Linda Long — Byfield, Sandy Keyes – Rowley, Nancy Jessel – Haverhill, and Liz Jutras – Newburyport.
Opportunity Works is committed to empowering and changing the lives of people with developmental disabilities through the provision of an array of programs and services that continues to grow and expand to serve an ever-diverse population. Our programs, services and events are made possible through your generosity, which contributes to options for independence and pride of accomplishment for the individuals we serve.
The Lend-a-Hand Auction is Opportunity Works’ principle fundraiser and outreach event, and the proceeds are an important source of operating revenue for an array of employment, specialized therapeutic day, community and recreational programs and services for more than 210 adults with developmental disabilities throughout the Greater Newburyport and Greater Haverhill communities.
We thank you for your support and invite you to continue the journey of empowering people and changing lives. Every one of you makes a difference! For more information, please call 978-462-6144 or 374-5281.Thank you.