To the editor,
The Hockomock Area YMCA’s annual Legends Ball is the signature event for our YMCA, raising funds to support our Integration Initiative. The Integration Initiative provides children with special needs opportunities to participate alongside their typically developing peers in Y programs and activities.
Our 2012 Legends Ball along with the Legends Golf Classic raised more than $165,000 to support this important inclusion initiative. I would like to take this opportunity to offer our Y’s heartfelt appreciation to all those who have allowed this mission driven initiative to evolve and thrive.
The Legends events would not be possible without the incredible support of so many New England Sports legends, past and present, who unselfishly give their time to make this event special. Additionally, the generosity of our sponsors is amazing and has grown by leaps and bounds every year.
To all of the attendees who generously supported our live and silent auctions, to all of our volunteers who serve on Legends committees, and to our Integration families who support this event, we say thank you.
This year we were proud and privileged to honor Rick and Dick Hoyt for their enduring spirit, teamwork and commitment to individuals with special needs and disabilities. The Hoyt story has inspired people from all over the world and their mission closely mirrors the goals and aspirations of our Integration Initiative, making this year’s event extra special.
I would also like to acknowledge a special friend of our YMCA, Robert Kraft, for his very generous donation as a direct result of being inspired by the Hoyts. Maria Stephanos, a YMCA member, did a feature story on the Hoyts in the lead up to our Legends Ball. Mr. Kraft, a longtime friend and supporter of our YMCA and the local community, saw the story, called Maria the next day, and donated $10,000 to the Legends Ball in honor of the Hoyts. This wonderful expression of generosity and support, when shared the night of the Legends Ball, sparked an additional $40,000 in donations to our “Kids to Camp” appeal.
The Legends Ball and the Integration Initiative it supports is a cause embraced by the wonderful communities we live in and are so proud to serve. We are all deeply grateful for the support.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013,
Hockomock Area YMCA