By: Caitlin Doran
We ate, we drank, we loved the lake. Saturday, July 31 was our much-anticipated Set Sail gala, which returned to the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club after the event went virtual in 2020 due to Covid-19. Saturday also marked the close of our virtual auction, which was chock full of unique items and experiences that winners are already enjoying! Speaking of winners, we also announced the three winners of our big Split-The-Pot raffle on Saturday. Congratulations again to Bill and Lisa Hirschfeld, Anna Mae Vaia, and Tom Warner!
In addition to the food and drink, music and mingling, and beautiful lake views, gala attendees were treated to a live auction just for them, where winners won big – literally! One lucky winner took home a humungous, oversized Adirondack chair. Other big-ticket items in the live auction included four passes to Maple Grove Drag Raceway in PA, a private cruise for up to 28 people aboard the LHF Floating Classroom, and - back by popular demand - a rain barrel hand-painted by local artist Shea Schindelar. We even auctioned off a pair of hand-painted shoes!
The combination of all three elements – the gala, auction, and raffle - made for one awesome fundraiser, which brought together our lake community and helped the Foundation surpass its $75K fundraising goal! Thank you to all who supported us!
It takes a village to make an event like this a success, and we at the Lake Hopatcong Foundation are blessed with an amazingly caring and generous village. The feelings of excitement and gratitude after reaching our fundraising goal will stay with us for a long time. Thank you to all who participated and supported us.
Thank you, attendees, participants, and donors! At the top of our list are our many attendees, donors, auction participants, and prize donors. We so appreciate your contribution, and the support and comradery around our shared cause: protecting the environment and enhancing the experience on our lake.
Thank you, committee! Also at the top is thanking our dedicated gala committee. Despite a fully ramped-up and busy summer, each committee member found time to help us plan and execute a successful fundraiser. Serving on this year’s committee were Stacey Allen, Janine Byrne, Mike Broking, Pat Hoferkamp, Jimmy Leffler, Karen Foley, Karen Porfido, and Michelle Sellaro. And a very special thank you goes out to our wonderfully talented committee chair, Lauren Rossi, who led our team to victory! We hope to see many of you back and welcome new members as we start planning next year’s 10th-anniversary gala.
Thank you, event volunteers! Thanks are also owed to our cadre of event volunteers - who prepped the auction and raffle, helped set up and beautify the club, handled check-in, check-out, and Split-the-Pot sales, and assisted guests as they navigated a virtual auction accessible exclusively by mobile device. Our roll call of helpful volunteers included: Shannon Baird, Gwen Lam, Sara and Pete Buonomo, Trevor Nilsen, Mary Diaz, Kathy Damerel, Jan Baird, Theresa Knobloch, Judy Caruso, Cyndi Deermount, Gin Guider, Lorena Kirschner, and Shannon Merson. We also owe a huge thanks to Ulla Vinkman, our volunteer photographer, for capturing these wonderful photos.
Thank you, Board of Trustees! As Bob Hamburger reminded us during his remarks, our Board of Trustees is all-volunteer, comprised of passionate people deeply dedicated to our lake and community. Our events and initiatives would not be possible without their guidance and support.
Thank you, speakers! We appreciate Marty Kane, Bob Hamburger, and Rich Romeo for their remarks and auctioneering skills.
Thank you, hosts! The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club Team was delightful to work with and we very much appreciate Jennifer Frey for her flexibility and Rocco Occhiato for his culinary creativity.
And thank you, sponsors. This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, many of whom were in attendance that evening. Waves of thanks go out to all of our Gala Duo sponsors, Hudson Farm Foundation, Live the Lake NJ, The John and Grace Soldoveri Foundation, Bruce. R. Koerner Cranes and Equipment, Liquor Factory, Edward Jones, Fulton Bank, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Franklin Mutual Insurance, Garrity, Graham, Murphy, Garofalo & Flinn, Rotary Club of Lake Hopatcong, and Tuli Enterprises.
Thank you all, and we’ll see you at next year’s big 10th-anniversary gala!