NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 4, 2013

Opportunity Works grateful for all who make a difference

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.

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