This year’s Wonderment Gala was full of exciting surprises as TLP returned to Morgan Manufacturing for the second year on Saturday, April 13th There were – over 350 eager guests excited to come back to show their support that were greeted by some of the TLP teens and staff members before receiving a welcome glass of champagne to start off the evening.
Guests enjoyed passed appetizers during cocktail hour, courtesy of Gibsons Steakhouse, including seared tuna wontons, crabmeat avocado shooters, skirt steak skewers and brie tart and apricot bites.
Once the doors opened and guests were seated for the dinner portion of the evening, Jeri Lynch Linas, TLP CEO, welcomed the crowd and thanked the generous sponsors. Mary Lou Mulvihill, Gala Chairperson and Board of Directors, then had the honor to present the 2019 Tom O’Reilly Impact Award to Mr. Tom O’Reilly himself. The Tom O’Reilly Impact Award will now be an annual award given out in his honor. After the main courses of Gibsons’ Goldcoast Sirloin Steak & Herb Marinated Shrimp or Broiled Farroe Island Salmon was served, Mary Lou Mulvihill introduced Ladasia Williams who is a Next Gen Resident. Ladasia received a standing ovation after a very moving speech about her struggles growing up and how she came to be a Next Gen Resident.
Jeri Lynch Linas then came back to the stage for a very exciting video presentation and announcement. Teen Living Programs unveiled their new name and identity as Ignite! The guests were thrilled to be a part of such a great moment as they were ready to show their support to the new brand, Ignite. The paddle raise which immediately followed the new brand unveiling, with the help of auctioneer, Renee Jones, raised over $150,000! Followed by the live auction, which added to their successful fundraising with many amazing packages including a Walton Street Kitchen Chef’s Tasting for eight, an Ultimate Cubs Experience for twelve, two first class United round-trip tickets to Europe, a Vacation of a Lifetime to Cosa Rica and more! The evening’s silent auction showed to be very impressive as well with over 40 items which raised a substantial amount of money for the charity.
Post dinner and programming, guests were invited to continue the party and play some favorite arcade style games such as Kerplunk, Skee Ball, Roller Bowler, Mind Shaft Madness and Maze Runner. Rickey Rainbow and OTT Band kept the dancefloor alive and the party going with an awesome live performance. The night ended in a huge success with the newly announce brand, Ignite, raising over $500,000!
Ignite offers a comprehensive continuum of services to young people between the ages of 14 to 24 who are unstably housed or experiencing homelessness. Beyond meeting youth’s immediate needs, our services provide youth with all the tools and support they need to succeed: stable housing; access to employment and education opportunities; primary and mental health care; lasting connections with caring adults, and the skills to live a healthy and independent life. Ignite envisions a world where all young people have the support they need to be defined by their potential, not their circumstances. For more information, please visit https://www.ignitepromise.org/.