March 26, 2019
 
Advocates Raises $200K at Second Annual Fall Gala

December 14, 2018 — Advocates, a Framingham-based nonprofit that provides a wide range of services to people who face developmental, mental health, or other life challenges, recently announced it raised $200,000 at its second annual fall gala, meeting its goal.

Held Nov. 29 at the Museum of Science in Boston, the gala drew 350 people.

Funds will be used to provide programs and support for more than 22,000 children and adults with a wide variety of disabilities, with a portion of the proceeds to be used to give a gift to children and adults who might otherwise not receive anything during the holidays.

Last year's gala sought to raise $150,000 attract 200 attendees.

Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, credited the gala event committee with "fostering a spirit of philanthropy and fun and engaging staff across the organization in all aspects of planning the event and soliciting sponsorships and auction items."

Funds, raised by ticket sales, sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and mini holiday fundraisers, represent 25% of the organization's total restricted and unrestricted annual fundraising total.

Auction items included trips to Hilton Head and Orlando; skiing in New Hampshire, a New York City package including dinner with Orange is the New Black star Alysia Reiner; and New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, and Boston Bruins tickets and memorabilia.

“In order for people to have a good life, we need communities that are welcoming and inclusive—in addition to providing resources, our work includes building communities that are fair and just, in which everyone has a valued role, access to resources, and an opportunity to make a contribution,” said Gould. “We are grateful to the people from legislative, business, cultural, and human service communities who consistently support Advocates and the people we serve, today, and as we evolve and grow in the future.”

The audience gave a standing ovation to Andy Doyle, who receives services from Advocates for the rare genetic condition Prader-Willi Syndrome. He shared his story of living and dealing with the condition which almost took his life 11 years ago. Challenged with a constant urge to eat, Doyle has worked to shed 189 pounds and his need for insulin as a type two diabetic. Today, he is healthy and thriving in the community.

Last month, Advocates received a $25,000 grant from the Parmenter Foundation to support the Behavioral Health Partners MetroWest Referral Line, a collaborative partnership created by Advocates, South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Spectrum, and Wayside Youth and Family Support Network that has created a single point of access for behavioral health and social services in the Metrowest area.

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