You remember the song? “Love, exciting and new. Come aboard, we’re expecting you. The Love Boat…”

Cedar Lake’s Cruise Line theme “Ports & Pearls” was just like that. Everyone I talked to loved it! Was it just the getaway? The Steel Drum Band? Dinner with the Captain? The free photo memento from Signature Studio? Maybe it was the excitement of the wonderfully explosive response to our Days of Service? I don’t know for sure, but one thing I am absolutely certain about is that our residents were the beneficiaries of your good time and mine. We netted an amazing $166,214, our second highest net ever! That will fund about 41% of our indigent care fund needs for this year.

I would like to share our thanks to the wonderful sponsors, who gave to underwrite all the costs of the evening and start the fundraising effort, especially our Cruise Line Sponsor, Commonwealth Bank & Trust. Thanks to all who bought seats and tables, and to those who bid on the fabulous auction items. Special thanks to all of you who bought Days of Service. When all was said and done, our generous guests purchased 300 days of service for our indigent clients!

Most of you will never know how many volunteer hours were given to collect auction items, gather and itemize each one, set-up on Saturday morning and clean up and tear down Saturday night. We have a fantastic team of folks who work hard so you can come and have a good time for a good cause. In addition to the great Cedar Lake staff, I want to thank Sherry Varner, Commonwealth Bank & Trust; Jennifer Hughes, DMLO; Robert English, Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary; Jennifer Richardson, Baptist East Hospital; Bayard Donaldson, JP Morgan Chase; Kim Dodson, Citizens Union Bank and Devan Gunderson, Take Note Design. These are the folks who served on the Leadership Team this year, alongside the Cedar Lake staff: Martha Bennett, Michelle Kersting, Tara Oliver, Kacy Noltemeyer and Patrick Varner.

We are already working on next year. What will be the theme next time you join us? What special surprises will we have for you? These answers and more next time at the Cedar Lake 2013 Gala.