Guests broke out the green, gold and purple beads as Mardi Gras came to Akron at the 21st annual Victim Assistance Program gala held Saturday evening at Todaro’s Party Center.
Brittney Kelker helped seat some of the 400 guests who dined on filet, shrimp and salmon and enjoyed a live band, silent auctions and raffles.
“This is the largest Mardi Gras gala that we’ve had in 21 years,” said Executive Director Leanne Graham. “We’ve also seen an increase in our clients served with more than 8,000 people in 2012.”
“We are hoping to bid on one of the trips,” said Beth Boggins, who along with husband John Boggins is very supportive of the group’s mission.
This year’s gala was co-chaired by Ann Manby and Bev Walter. Akron Police Capt. Sylvia Trundle welcomed attendees.
The 2012 Bernard I. Rosen Community Service Award was presented to Frank Harvey. The 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Dan Mosher of Mosher Media.
“I was born and raised in Akron, and I’m passionate about giving back to the Akron community,” Mosher said.
German exchange student Richard Schramm attended with Alison Seitz.
“I like the Mardi Gras theme,” said Jim LaFleur, who shared a table with wife Jen LaFleur, Rena Parker, Judy and Roger Reed, and Mary Kay and Ernie Pouttu.
Lisa O’Grady said, “I am hoping that my daughter Jaeley O’Grady and I can become volunteers with Victim Assistance.”
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart were in attendance. Guests like Brian Thomas donned their silver and purple beads.
“I’m looking forward to a great evening,” Kathy Regec said.