Fundraiser helps improve YMCA access

Sep 27, 2019

MARION — The Toast of the Coast fundraiser may have been to benefit the Gleason Family YMCA in Wareham, but the Sept. 27 event was heavily tri-town dominated. 

Held at the Marion Music Hall, the event offered the chance to eat food from local restaurants, drink participate in silent and live auctions and a number of other creative fundraising efforts. 

Gleason Family YMCA’s goal was to raise $150,500. “This will bring us pretty close to that goal,” said the organization’s Senior Executive Director Debbie Fringuelli. The funds all go to scholarships so that anyone who wants to participate in YMCA programming can do so, even if their financial circumstances otherwise wouldn’t allow it. 

Fringuelli said that at the YMCA branch typically they typically “give out more than we raise in scholarships. But, because all of the auction items were donated, Fringuelli said “we spend very little on the event. Most of it goes back to scholarships.” 

Event organizers usually “expect 100 people. That’s pretty much where we are tonight,” Fringuelli said.  

The Senior Executive Director credited the staff and volunteers at the YMCA for the months of work they had put in to plan the event, and of course the event’s sponsors. 

Tri-town restaurants were well-represented at the food table, with Artisan Bake Shop and Uncle Jon’s providing desserts, and Cilantro, Funache, Great Hill Dairy, Harriet’s Catering, Matt’s Blackboard, Seahorse Seafood, Shipyard Gallery and Turk’s Seafood all contributing food. 

Other restaurants didn’t have food at the fundraiser, but pitched into the auction, like Oxford Creamery, which offered a birthday party. Pen and Pendulum, the Ansel Gurney House the Marion General Store, the Marion Animal Hospital, Fieldstone Farm Market and JNJ Woodworking also offered items, while Marion Sports Shop and Holt’s Painting were silent auction sponsors. 

The YMCA also ran a wine raffle, where entrants donated to pull a cork for a bottle of wine with a value between $10 and $90, and offered mystery bags with a $25 value to a variety of different restaurants and businesses.