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Opportunity Enterprises hosts another record breaking Gala

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on March 23, 2016 with No Comments

Rick Urschel, emcee of Opportunity Enterprises’ 24th Annual Gala

Opportunity Enterprises held their 24th Annual Gala hosted by Delta Theta Tau sorority on Saturday, March 12at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Ind. The event themed “A Place to Grow” attracted more than 500 guests and raised a record breaking $297,000. The proceeds from this year’s gala will benefit OE’s vocational, educational and residential programs that benefit nearly 1,000 individuals with disabilities in Northwest Indiana.

“I am so inspired by how much our community embraces the people we serve and steps-up to make a difference in their lives,” said Ellen DeMartinis, CEO of Opportunity Enterprises. “We are honored to have the opportunity to allow our clients to share their talents and abilities with guests at the gala,” she said.

In addition to an inspiring program and unique silent and live auction packages, guests enjoyed musical performances by many OE clients. Pianists included Aaron and Sam who both play the piano by ear.  April, Diamesha, Kathy, Michael and Nicole earned a standing ovation by performing their own rendition of a song similar to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds in a flash mob style.

The AmRhein family who shared their story and how OE impacts their lives with guests at OE’s Gala. Back row: Sue and Rick AmRhein, Michelle AmRhein and John Denfeld Front row: Sue Thompson, Richie AmRhein, and William and Theresa Thompson

Special guests included emcee, Rick Urschel and the AmRhein family.  Through video, the AmRheins shared their story of challenges and successes along the journey of having a child with special needs.  Rick AmRhein stated, “Sue and I have been part of the OE family since our son Richie started receiving services in 2004. My wife and I have lived in many places around the country, and I know without a doubt that there is no other place quite like OE”.

Richie has worked in OE’s Outsource Solutions department for 12 years assembling products for local businesses.  He and his roommate live in their own apartment supported by OE staff.

Porter Regional Hospital and Strack and Van Til were top sponsors of the evening. DeMartinis shared, “I am so thankful to the attendees and sponsors that continue to make our mission a reality in Northwest Indiana”.

For more information, visit www.oppent.org.

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