Supporters of McGuire Memorial gathered at the Lemont on November 20th for An Evening of Gratitude.  The event, a prequel to their signature fundraiser, A Special Auction for Special People, will celebrate its 25th year anniversary on March 4, 2017.  The evening celebration is anticipated to bring together friends from across the region, all of whom continue to appreciate the McGuire Memorial mission – to provide comprehensive services to people with intellectual and physical disabilities that may include complex medical conditions.  The co-sponsored ministries of the Felician Sisters of North America, Our Lady of Hope Province and the Diocese of Pittsburgh have a long and celebrated history of forming a joy-filled community motivated by Christian values.  The organization, which offers supportive services to families and caregivers, provides a robust offering of specialized services for family members in need, including individuals on the autism spectrum.

“The McGuire Memorial Evening of Gratitude was created by the Special Auction for Special People committee in 2003 as a way to invite friends to share in the success of the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, A Special Auction for Special People,” said Joyce Lewis – Andrews, Director of Development, McGuire Memorial.  Guests of An Evening for Gratitude are asked to bring a gift that can be auctioned off at the upcoming Special Auction for Special People fundraising event.  “Last year, over $20,000 worth of in-kind gifts were donated at Our Evening of Gratitude, including a trip to Greece, weekends in Deep Creek and Hidden Valley, and numerous season-holder tickets to sporting events,” said Joyce.

Centered around the Thanksgiving holiday, The Evening of Gratitude is a great way to begin the Season of Giving,” said Sister Mary Thaddeus.  “As the President and CEO of McGuire Memorial, I am not only grateful, but humbled by all the ways our donors and benefactors continue to support our mission.”

The McGuire Memorial Foundation Board Chair, Cindy Thomas agreed with that sentiment. “The gifts that are donated help us to ensure a fullness of life for the children and adults of McGuire Memorial, but it also gives every guest the opportunity to be thankful that we have the capacity to give and make a difference.”

Over the last 24 years, more than 8,000 guests have attended the Special Auction for Special People with net proceeds providing significant gifts to the individuals at McGuire Memorial over the years including:

  • The Gift of Satisfaction and Joy given to community home residents when the auction funded smart home technology. Now, with just a touch of the iPad, individuals can regulate the temperature, the light and even the entertainment in their homes.
  • The Gift of Mobility was provided by past auction guests and contributors when they helped fund accessible vans. This transportation makes it possible for individuals with disabilities experience the opportunity to worship, to have meaningful work, to have a sense of belonging to the greater community, and to enjoy a wide range of life enrichment experiences.
  • The Gift of Opportunity and Achievement was provided when auction guests supported technologies such as iPads, speech communication devices and special education software that enabled children and adults to reach their educational potential and experience a greater quality of life by maximizing his or her ability to communicate and learn.
  • Auction guests and friends who attended the LeMont Evening of Gratitude event last year made the Gift of Achievement possible by providing scholarships so that students in need, including those with multiple disabilities, cognitive challenges and on the autism spectrum benefit from an individualized approach to specialized therapies, equipment and curriculum at The School at McGuire Memorial.

This year’s goal for the 25th Annual Special Auction for Special People will be to”Raise the Roof”—setting the most exciting goal in auction history by raising $250,000 needed to purchase a community home, and build a new life of possibilities for adults with disabilities. The new home for McGuire Residents will provide them with the Gift of Independence to ensure that their future is more secure and more funding can be allocated toward training, work and leisure opportunities.

Please consider joining McGuire Memorial to celebrate this year’s silver anniversary, the 25th Annual Special Auction for Special People.  The celebration will be held at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 4, 2017 form 5-9:30 PM. For sponsorship and reservation information or a sneak at this year’s auction items, go to https://mcguirem.ejoinme.org/Auction2017.