Society Column: Star Gala benefits Assistance League programs


Would you like to win a trip for two at the Bellagio in Las Vegas or an apartment for a week in Provence? How about a South African photo safari valued at $5,950? Get ready for next year. The lucky winners have claimed this year’s auction items already.

On April 12 the Assistance League of Indianapolis conducted its annual Star Gala fundraiser event at Ritz Charles in Carmel. The venue was transformed into a sophisticated black tie event, complete with a dance floor and music provided by DJ Joe DeBiak from Sound Spectrum Entertainment. In addition to the live auction items previously mentioned, the silent auction included items ranging from a necklace from Distinctive Diamonds to a genuine Colts jacket.

Marcia Hoffbauer and Susan Kwiatkowski, as the 2014 event chairwomen, welcomed Beth Vaughn of RTV6 News as Mistress of Ceremonies. Linda Ranger provided comprehensive promotional efforts to further the event and its philanthropic efforts. Brian Russell of Plainfield generously donated professional photographs, too.

The organization raises money each year through various fundraising events, grants and corporate and individual donations for five primary philanthropic operations: Operation School Bell; Shoes, A Division of School Bell; Assault Survivor Kits; Assistance League of Indianapolis Bears; and Assistance League of Indianapolis Friends.

Assistance League of Indianapolis has achieved a lean operating budget of 18 cents on the dollar, leaving 82 cents per dollar for designated philanthropic efforts.

The 2014 Star Award of the evening was presented to the Sertoma Club of Broad Ripple, in recognition for its generous contributions and as a sponsor of the Star Gala.

Approximately 300 to 350 people were in attendance. Among those we met, to name a few were: Beth Vaughn and husband, Paul Resner, who are both members of the Sertoma Club, and members of Hunt Construction Group. Also, Carmel residents, who comprise about a third of club membership, were well represented by Fay Burge and Deanna Hosler; Emily Bartz; Julie Yates; Meri Weber; Margaret Lawrence; Sara Hill; Jim and Tanja Keay; and Tom Zurek. At my table, Linda Ranger, and her husband, Bruce Ranger, hosted a lively group of Carmel residents, Jim and Paula Howard; and Pittsboro residents Mike and Tere Gilman. 

Tonya Burton is the Current’s social scene columnist. You may contact her at tonya@currentincarmel. com