Also, this year’s event was sold-out, with an all-time high of 2,000 supporters attending the black-tie gala on Saturday, January 20th at the Overland Park Convention Center.
Mike and Maureen Bukaty, Leawood, served as Snow Ball presidents for this year’s event which included a cocktail reception followed by a formal sit-down dinner. The Lost Wax band provided the live music with dancing until midnight.
Honorary Presidents Mike and Susan Gangel, Leawood, received special recognition during the evening for their steadfast support of Catholic Charities, and living their faith at work and at home.
“Our parents have always set a positive example to ensure that we value helping others and that we clearly understand the blessings in our lives,” adds daughter, Bridget Lee, and son, Mike Gangel, Jr.
Over the years, Snow Ball has evolved from a small, potluck supper held at the former Glenwood Manor Hotel in Overland Park, to becoming one of the area’s largest charitable events. Due to its size, Snow Ball was held for many years at a venue across the state line. Last year, it returned to its Kansas roots and proved “there’s no place like home,” raising $2.3 million.
“It’s amazing to see the dedication and generosity year after year from our hard-working committee members, their families and friends, as well as the community,” says Ken Williams, President and CEO, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. “They’re passionate about not only giving help, but giving hope to the families we serve.”
Snow Ball raises 50 percent of all private donations to Catholic Charities each year. Event proceeds help support the agency’s seven Emergency Assistance Centers, eight food pantries and more than 20 programs and services for people of all faiths, at all stages of life, beginning with pregnancy counseling and adoption to in-home support for seniors to hospice care.
“Thanks to the fund raising success of Snow Ball, we’re able to stabilize those in crisis by providing food, shelter, clothing and utility assistance,” explains Williams. “More than that, we’re able to strengthen families and help them move toward self-sufficiency by educating them about building and balancing a family budget, ways to eliminate debt and how to improve their employment situation.”