On April 22, more than 800 people gathered at The Depot in Minneapolis to celebrate and honor Lifeworks clients and those who support them at the Lifeworks 24th Annual Celebration, “A Perfect Fit.”
“You are our perfect fit,” Judy Lysne, president and CEO of Lifeworks, told the group. “We couldn’t do what we do without you.”
The evening began with a private VIP business social for event sponsors and an open cocktail reception for all guests in The Depot’s Great Hall. Guests chatted, viewed the Lifeworks Traveling Art Show, and enjoyed live music. Guests later moved to The Depot’s Pavilion for dinner and the evening’s program.
In his opening remarks, Steve Wexler, CEO of KaiserComm and chair of the Lifeworks board of directors, welcomed guests and shared a few highlights from the organization’s year in numbers. He also made the group a promise:
“Sometime tonight, your eyes will well up with tears or you’ll get a chill up your spine. Something that happens on stage will touch you,” said Wexler.
By the end of the evening, Wexler’s promise was easily kept. Many guests dabbed their eyes as they watched moving videos highlighting the achievements of each of the year’s award winners, including:
- Rollie Keeley, a Lifeworks client employed by ABM Industries, and Kim Moore, a Lifeworks client employed by Wal-Mart, who both received Personal Achievement awards
- Key Surgical, Employer of the Year
- Caryn Addante, Advocate of the Year
Following the award presentation, auctioneer Glen Fladeboe took the floor for a live auction. Among the items up for bidding were vacation packages, Twins tickets, an “instant wine cellar” and a private tour of the Walker Art Center. Fladeboe’s trademark humor and warmth helped raise $14,750 to support Lifeworks’ programs.
As the auction concluded, Fladeboe asked everyone in attendance to consider making a gift to defray Lifeworks’ transportation costs. Guests responded with donations ranging from $10 to $2,500, resulting in an additional $47,000 raised.
“Though 2009 was a tough year for the economy, our generous supporters ensured it was a great year for Lifeworks,” says Wexler. “Based on the Annual Celebration, I suspect 2010 will be no different. We are blessed with supporters who recognize the importance of the work we do, and are inspired to join us in making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.”