February 1, 2021
“I think about what was happening this time last year: collecting meal orders, prepping for 700 guests… this will be the first ever Virtual LOVE Gala.”
When the Center’s LOVE Gala was first held in 1998, it was created with the goal of gathering the community together to celebrate the Center’s love and support for grieving children, and to raise a bit of money to help keep their services available at no cost. Last year, the event raised about ⅓ of their annual budget and helped the Center to serve 675 children, teens, and adults through their peer support programs. This year, with the guidance of the Center’s LOVE Gala committee, the event will happen virtually for the first time. As Emma Walker, Corporate Relations & Events Specialist says, “this event is so crucial to support our families, and this year that support is needed more than ever.”
Facing the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, the team at the Center has been working tirelessly, adapting and growing with the virtual environment. When they closed their in-person services in March, they quickly regrouped and developed virtual programs and got back to serving the community in April. Acknowledging most everything has switched to a digital platform: education, work and events, the team collaborated to creatively echo elements of the live event into the virtual gala.
“While we’ll miss having all of us together in one room,” Emma said, “it’s important to prioritize the community’s efforts to stay safe and healthy, and remember we will certainly be celebrating together again soon when it’s safe to do so.”
The Gala is a crucial event that helps to keep the Center’s services free for families and children. This year's virtual event is free to attend, and people coming and listening to the stories of participants means a lot to the Center. The event showcases what they’ve been doing since March 2020 and how they've continued to be there for our community. People are making an impact simply by attending the event. Registrants can also sponsor a child, enjoy the week's virtual auction as well as the live auction the night of the event!
Of working at the Center, Emma says, “Sometimes people will say, ‘oh it seems like that would be so sad!’, but the moment I walked through the doors I was surrounded by hope. It's a special place, and the LOVE Gala really captures that magic and celebrates that feeling of safety and love. At the end of the night, we just hope that people feel the love!”
To register for the event, and to learn more, visit:https://cgcmaine.giv.sh/