Target Gala Reflections

Oh, what a night…

After much personal anticipation, the 2023 Gala is successfully in the books.  Initial fundraising figures look impressive, but more importantly, the Target community had a night to remember.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make the night special. Gail and Laura from the office and their team of dedicated volunteers, aided by the support of Jeffery Cake and Martin’s West staff, organized a complicated evening and made it look like the easiest thing in the world. Thank you to all who donated or bid on items in the silent auction. We set a record in fundraising through this aspect of the event. Thank you to all the sponsors. Your contributions are essential to the evening.

It was fun to see our colleagues and participants dressed in their finest, enjoying the meal, music, and good company.  As I scroll through the pictures of the evening, reflections on the last eight months come to mind.  Thank you all for your warmth and hospitality; it is such a pleasure to be a part of the lives touched by Target.

One of the highlights of my evening was meeting Judy Woodruff. The kids would tell me I spent more than a few minutes in ‘fan-boy’ mode when she and her husband, Al Hunt, arrived. Judy is a renowned journalist who has been central to broadcast reporting and editing for many years. She has been honored with a Peabody, an Emmy, the Radcliff Medal, and many other very impressive awards.

Target experienced her grace as she received our 2023 Laurence J. Adams Community Service Award.  In addition to her work in journalism, Judy is the parent of a Target resident. She has used her experience as a mother and her public voice to shine a light into the darkness on issues related to access to services for those with disabilities. She is a true leader in our field, and we could not be happier to share this award with her.

Late last year, an article was published in the Washington Post based on Judy’s work and perspective.  We have been waiting to share the piece on the blog until after the Gala. The article continues a dialog about the current and future reality of those with disabilities and an ongoing conversation critical to our work. Read the article here.

Thanks again to Judy, the Target community, our colleagues, and the participants.  It is great to have my first Gala under my belt.  In the words of Dr. Zirpoli, “one down, twenty-five to go.”

I cannot wait for next year.