NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 30, 2012

Lend-a-Hand Auction the best ever

To the editor:

Johanna thought the best part of coming to Opportunity Works was the respect she receives as an artist, but when she sold her first piece of artwork, she became a professional artist on her way to independence. Mike likes the way people at Opportunity Works respect each other. He enjoys his co-workers, and he likes to work. He never misses a day if he can help it. Johanna and Mike value these experiences while giving back to the community. Your support leads to the success of programs and services, which leads to individual successes.

The Greater Newburyport and Greater Haverhill communities again joined Opportunity Works on the journey of empowering and changing lives of people with disabilities. The support of sponsors, volunteers, auctioneers, donors, bidders and businesses was amazing. Opportunity Works' Board of Directors, staff and the people we serve are very grateful. Opportunity Works' annual Lend-a-Hand Auction, in partnership with Comcast, was the most successful in its 28-year history, raising $80,000 to help continue our much needed programs and services.

We literally could not undertake the auction without the time and efforts of hundreds of volunteers. For the month before the auction, many volunteers spend their time preparing for the auction, soliciting items, writing descriptions, cooking for other volunteers and staff. During auction week, volunteers worked nonstop. We cannot thank them enough. Our volunteers are crucial to the success of the event; we are fortunate to have too many wonderful volunteers to be able to name each and every one. They know who they are, as do we! Congratulations to John Delorey, our 2012 Auction Shining Star!

Auction week brought in more than 600 donated items and certificates. On Saturday, Feb. 25, 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 and was streamed live through www.portmedia.org.

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