Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence held its 34th annual Sharing Our Bounty Gala at Andover Country Club on Saturday, Nov. 18. More than 350 people attended the event, which included silent and live auctions, passed hors d’oeuvres, and live entertainment.
Dr. Reverend Paul Burton, a reporter for CBS Boston, served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Burton spoke to the crowd about the ministry’s heightened need in all areas, including food, clothing, and financial support.
Longtime local radio and TV personality Mike Morin was the auctioneer for the evening. Morin is known for co-hosting New Hampshire in the Morning, hosting Morin in the Morning, penning a humor column for the Nashua Telegraph, and authoring a memoir.
Morin started the auction off with a loaf of bread baked from his grandmother’s “famous” recipe. The crowd was so eager to start the auction off on a high note that two loaves of bread were sold for more than $1,000 each.
Christmas Eve Patriots tickets, New England getaways, concert tickets, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences were auctioned off during the event.
“It was incredible to see people’s enthusiasm for raising money for Lazarus House,” Director of Communications Gabby Cruz said. “It was easy to see people weren’t simply interested in awesome auction items; they were bidding high for a purpose.”
As the live auction came to an end, Andover Country Club owner and local real estate mogul Yvon Cormier made a surprise donation to the ministry.
Cormier pledged to match up to $50,000 of donations during Fund The Mission, a portion of the evening where guests make monetary pledges to the non-profit.
Cormier stunned Lazarus House staff and gala guests alike. He noted that one of his motivations for his donation had to do with the ministry’s financial shortfall.
As a result of the many natural disasters around the country and other factors, the ministry is currently facing a $200,000 deficit. Cormier said it was times like this, when he and those in the room have so much, that he felt compelled to help those in need.
“Seeing Yvon step on stage and announce his gift was honestly a little breathtaking,” Cruz said. “We’re facing a shortfall this year, so seeing one of our greatest prayers answered right in front of us was amazing. We’re so thankful to Yvon.”
But, Cruz said, the need is still present.
“With Yvon’s generosity, and the total amount raised during Sharing Our Bounty, we took a big step toward closing our funding gap,” Cruz said. “But there’s still a ways to go. The need we’re experiencing is great and we continue to hope and pray that members of our community will be inspired by Yvon’s example.”
“No matter what,” Cruz added, “we will continue serving those in need in our community and make every effort to break the stubborn bonds of poverty."