Single-Year Record Raised by Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Charitable Arm to Make Dreams Come True for Children Battling Illness
Recently, several celebrities rocked out and teed up during a two-day fundraising rally hosted by Chartway Federal Credit Union’s We Promise Foundation to make dreams come true for children battling life-threatening illnesses. As a result of the 9th Annual Diamonds in the Sky Gala, the 16th Annual Charity Golf Classic and all of its fundraising events this year, the credit union’s charitable arm is proud to announce that 2014 contributions will pass the $1 million mark for the first time in the organization’s history.
Joining the foundation for the two-day benefit was actress Gail O’ Grady, a multiple Emmy® nominee for the “NYPD Blue” TV series and current star of ABC-TV’s hit drama “Revenge;” alternative rock band, The Gin Blossoms; LPGA player Jill McGill; and 20 We Promise kid heroes.
Emceed by Gail O’ Grady and former local TV news anchor Kerri Furey, the black-tie gala held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel featured a cocktail hour, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and live entertainment by The Gin Blossoms.
Professional auctioneer Kyle Hause also treated the 415 guests to a rousing live auction with nine-year-old Anastacia as his assistant. Anastacia, along with other We Promise children who attended the Gala, created the beautiful pottery that was featured in the silent auction.
The auction featured one-of-a-kind items such as a “Chopper” motorcycle; a signed photo of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team’s victory over Russia; tickets to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course; and exclusive trips to places like Barbados, British Columbia, Aspen, Colorado, and Miami Beach, Florida.
“It was a true honor to attend this year’s Diamonds in the Sky Gala,” said ABC’s “Revenge” star Gail O’Grady. “I had the chance to meet many of the incredible children and to hear their parents share some of their stories. I deeply admire their strength and just how special We Promise has made every one of these children feel. The foundation’s ability to make a child’s world light up is simply priceless.”
The following afternoon, a full flight of We Promise supporters had a chance to tee off with well renowned LPGA golfer Jill McGill at one of the most esteemed golf outings in the area: the 16th Annual Charity Golf Classic. Joining the 144 tournament golfers at The Signature at West Neck were 10 We Promise children who arrived by limousine and received cheers and high-fives from We Promise board members and volunteers as they traveled across a red carpet rolled out just for them. The beneficiaries were thrilled to have the opportunity to putt with a pro and buzz about the course with the tournament participants.
“We are immeasurably grateful for the tremendous generosity of loyal sponsors and the support of celebrities like Gail O’Grady, Jill McGill, The Gin Blossoms, and so many others throughout the year who have helped us raise awareness and funds to make dreams come true for incredibly courageous children,” said John Blum, chairman of Chartway’s We Promise Foundation. “We are honored to be able to give these young fighters the opportunity to take a break from the pricks and procedures to just be a kid. To play, to dream, to enjoy the simplicity of joy as only a child can.”
Chartway Federal Credit Union’s president and CEO, Ron Burniske, agreed. “We could not do the important, life-enriching work we do without each and every one of our supporters and volunteers. Although we have been honored to make a difference in the lives of nearly 2,000 children, I think it’s safe to say that their stories of hope and hardship have dramatically changed ours. We are so appreciative of everyone who has helped us raise $1 million this year and nearly $7 million in total to bring smiles to the faces of the most heartwarming heroes.”
All proceeds from these two events and all of the foundation’s fundraisers this year will benefit children in the markets the Chartway family of credit unions serve. Since launching the foundation, Chartway FCU’s We Promise Foundation has raised nearly $7,000,000.