Y Gala raises $95,000 for financial aid and youth programs – Los Alamos Reporter

The Y’s PROM & AID was held on April 23 at La Fonda in Santa Fe. Photo by Jocelyn Chapman/YMCA

JazzCombo Photo Cutline: Los Alamos Jazz Combo provided live entertainment. Members include Jan McDonald, trumpet; Mike Wagner, trumpet; Jerry Morzinski, trombone; Wendy Keffler, saxophone; Tom Rheam, keyboard; Ralph Marque, percussion; Deniece Korzekwa, bass; and singers Joy Reynolds and Rene LeClaire. Photo by Jocelyn Chapman/YMCA


With an abundance of caution due to the ongoing pandemic, The Family YMCA leadership decided to host a smaller fundraising event on April 23 at La Fonda in Santa Fe to support financial aid and new youth programs. Formally known as the Red & Black Ball in honor of the Y’s previous brand colors, this year’s event became the PROM & AID Gala, reflecting the sense that the event is both an ‘adult ball’ and a fundraiser.

Y CEO Chris Daniels said the difficulty of measuring pandemic infections caused Y to only invite sponsors and limit their table size, but he hopes to open the event to community members next year. “Our main sponsors have continued to support the Y for the last two years when the Y was not holding an event,” Daniels said, “but the Y board and I were especially pleased to have community leaders turn up in person this year.”

Board chairman Karen Easton said Y hopes to raise $175,000 this year in financial aid, two new high school youth programs and the Española YMCA Teen Center. “The Gala brought us to 54 percent of our goal and raised $95,000.” Despite fewer attendees, Easton said a matching grant from the Delle Foundation and a paddle raise helped the Y have its third most successful event.

“Donations are still welcome and needed,” she said. “We are raising funds to allow 50 children to participate in the Y After School and Camp programs, and support a nutrition and exercise program for high school students, as well as a de-escalation program called Worth Defending. We also raise money to support the Espanola YMCA Teen Center. Our fundraising goal will be shared almost by third parties to support these programs,” Easton said.

Donors to the President’s Roundtable included Centerra Group, Century Bank, El Parasol, Los Alamos Daily Post, Los Alamos Medical Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory-Triad, N3B, Lou Santoro State Farm Insurance. Youth donor champions include Los Alamos Children’s Dentistry, Merrick & Company and TechSource, Inc.

Daniels said that while the theme of the “prom” was Under the Stars, the real theme of the evening was to express gratitude.

A total of 20 donors from Los Alamos, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Ghost Ranch donated silent auction items. Donations of silent items were given by Jemez Bath Soaks, the Roger Waterman Estate, Karen Easton, Ben Sandoval, Jeff & Bobbi Hayes, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, Diego Torres, Carmen Salazar and Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op. Donors of the Live Auction include Classic Air Medical, Los Alamos Fire Department, LANL Director Thom Mason, Ghost Ranch, Los Alamos Teen Center and Boese Brother Brewing Company, Leslie Buckland, Linda and Paul Daly, the New Mexico Isotopes, Ben Sandoval, Karen Easton, Deb Huling, Veronika Magnelind and Los Alamos Daily Post. Photo by Jocelyn Chapman/YMCA

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