March 26, 2019
 
East Boston Social Centers Holds First Gala, Raises $515K

December 14, 2018 — The East Boston Social Centers, a multi-service nonprofit based in East Boston that provides a range of services primarily for low-income children and families, recently announced it raised $515,000 at its first gala, which celebrated the organization's hundredth anniversary, the highest amount raised by any fundraising event in its history.

The Cruisin’ through the Decades Gala, held last month at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, which aimed to raise $500,000, drew 500 attendees. Previous events have attracted 200 to 250 guests and raised between $10,000 and $25,000.

Justin Pasquariello, executive director of East Boston Social Centers, noted that the gala "was truly a community-wide effort" and that the stretch fundraising goal was achieved due to "the great communities in which we work came together to ensure the success of this event."

Funds raised via sponsors, individual donors, ticket sales, and an auction will support ongoing programs of EB Social Centers, which typically support 600 people daily.

A spokesperson said the gala was a first step in significantly growing the role of fundraising in the organization's budget.

Attending the gala were Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. Food for the event was donated by 16 local restaurants and caterers.

Sponsors included United Way, The HYM Investment Group, LLC, Mybliss, Massport, MG2, and East Boston Savings Bank.

Founded in 1918, EB Social Centers serves culturally diverse families and individuals of all ages in East Boston and Greater Boston. Its roots date to the 1880s settlement houses, formed to meet the needs of a new immigrant population, pioneered childcare, public health, and social work.

Originally serving immigrants from across Europe to a mostly Italian-American community, EB Social Centers today serves a more diverse community from across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe with programs designed to meet educational, social and recreational needs and to build community and strengthen families.

EB Social Centers leads the East Boston Family Engagement Network, a network of agencies that connects families to high-quality early education programs for their children, promotes parent education, family engagement, and early literacy, provides transition supports to families with children moving between and among early education settings, home and school, increases families' awareness of child development and age appropriate, developmentally appropriate activities that promote school readiness, and builds parent leadership skills.

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