2013-01-25 / Community

Locals give time to center for children

Cape Elizabeth and South Portland residents are serving in leadership roles for the Portland-based Center for Grieving Children’s biggest fundraiser of the year on Friday, Feb. 1.

Nancy Thompson is president of the center’s board of directors, and center board member Gail Bruzgo is co-chairman of the event. Elyse Tipton of South Portland is development director for the center.

As volunteers and board members, Bruzgo and Thompson have contributed a combined total of more than 10 years of service to the center. Thompson and her family sought the center’s services in 2004, after the death of her son, Timothy L. Thompson II.

Taking its name from the words of a child at the center, the event in February is Love Really Counts: The 2013 Auction and Dinner Gala of the Center for Grieving Children. Last year, the annual event and a related community-wide raffle grossed $190,000 in support of the center.

This year’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction and cocktail hour in the lower level of Portland’s Holiday Inn By the Bay. Guests will then progress upstairs to the ballroom for a dinner program hosted by WCSH6 News Anchor Cindy Williams and a live auction by Tom Saturley, CAI,pPresident, Tranzon Auction Properties.

“I am honored to serve the center as board president and in any other way I can,” Thompson said. “It is so important to me to help ensure that children and families continue receiving the kind of love and support my family did at the center. The gift of comfort and healing is priceless.”

Tipton said 16 people serve on the auction committee, including Bruzgo and her co-chairman and fellow board member Scott Whytock of Scarborough. About 30 additional volunteers signed up to assist before, during, and after the event, she said.

We deeply appreciate the outpouring of support this event is receiving from our volunteers, guests, and the businesses and individuals who have donated wonderful items and experiences to the silent and live auctions, Bruzgo said. They recognize what a unique resource the Center is for the whole community.

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is the lead platinum sponsor of the Love Really Counts event.

IDEXX is proud to sponsor this important event, to support children and families who find love and healing at the center, said Jon Ayers, chairman and chief executive officer, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. “Through its valuable, effective programs, the center makes a difference in so many lives. It is an outstanding community resource.”

Silver sponsors are: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Martin’s Point Helath Care, RE/MAX By the Bay, Spectrum Medical Group, and Tex Tech. Bronze Sponsors are: Gorham Savings Bank, MaineHealth, Patrons Oxford Insurance and Tucker Law Group. Maine magazine is media sponsor.

Throughout the year WEX provides support for the center’s bereavement programs as the center’s 25th anniversary sponsor.

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