WARRENSBURG - The independent group that assists hundreds of upcounty residents weekly in critical need will be holding its fundraiser soon -and the deadline for reservations is this week.
On Friday May 15, North Country Ministry will hold its annual Spring Gala at the Fort William Henry Resort in Lake George. Tickets for this dinner-dance fundraiser are $50 per person. Entitled Quince de Mayo, the event's music and food this year sports a latin influence.
Reservations for the Spring Gala are required and can be made by contacting Joyce Holwell, P.O. Box 61, Johnsburg, NY 12843, or calling 623-3057. The deadline for reservations is May 5.
In addition to dinner and dancing to the Latin band Sensemaya, the evening will include silent and live auctions conducted by Martin Seelye. Some of the items for bid include an apartment in Paris suitable for a 10-day vacation, tickets to a Red Sox home game, the use of a condominium in Lake Placid for one week, box seats at the Saratoga Race Track, a boat ride and lunch at the Lake George Club, and a day of golf and dinner at Top 'O the World Golf Resort.
That's not all - there are some other creative prizes in the auction, new this year, including a dinner for 10 with Doug Gruse, the Post-Star "Foodie;" and dinner with the "Gospel Gourmet," none other than Father Berardi of Sacred Heart Church in Lake George.
This is North Country's major fundraiser for the year, and the group's representatives hope for substantial attendance so they can exceed their goal of surpassing the $25,000 raised last year. In 2010, 170 people attended the event.
This year, a sit-down dinner replaces the traditional buffet, and meal choices are: chicken breast, haddock, or sirloin of beef with Pico de Gallo sauce on the side.
This event is being underwritten in part by major sponsors Barton Mines, Trustco Bank, along with Glens Falls National Bank, Adventure Racing & Fun Park of Queensbury and Cronin Golf Resort of Warrensburg. The event's media sponsors are Adirondack Journal, the News Enterprise, and Times of Ti, all weekly newspapers of Denton Publications.
North Country Ministry is an ecumenical, not-for-profit outreach organization that provides services to individuals and families in need in northern Warren County. The agency serves over 1,000 people monthly and covers an area over 600 square miles. Their services include supportive counseling, advocacy and referral, a mealsite, a family clothing shop, furniture donations, an emergency assistance fund, parenting support, housing rehabilitation and adult living units. The recent addition of their Warrensburg Outreach Center has extended their impact, providing a multitude of services to those in need.
With lay-offs increased this year, funding sources declining, and families' needs growing, North Country Ministry is providing more critical assistance than ever, Warrensburg Outreach Center Caseworker Caroline Sgorrano said.
Many upcounty residents, many of them who've never sought assistance before, are now deciding between paying the utility bill or buying groceries, buying medicine or buying clothing for their children, getting their car fixed to get to work or paying the rent, she said.
"Needs have grown incredibly due to the lack of jobs in the North Country," Sgorrano said. "We're seeing so many more people who need help. A great number of people are limping by on unemployment, and so many others aren't eligible for government assistance."
She said that North Country Ministry has a full roster of people that need help, and many more each week are seeking assistance.
"So many people can't make their rent or are getting disconnect notices and we're doing what we can to help," Sgorrano said.
Donations to North Country Ministry are put to work easing the hardships of those who have nowhere else to turn, she said.
"We are eternally grateful for the generous people who choose to donate and help out their North Country neighbors in need," Sgorrano said.