By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The Board of Directors of Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services (SYFS) will hold its first Evening of Giving Saturday, May 19, at The Haven Country Club in Boylston.
The event is a departure from their traditional annual Gala held for over a decade.
“The board felt that it needed to be changed,” explained Board Vice Chair Melissa Pride-Fahs. “It was really heavy with speeches and awards which had its purpose at the time…It had run its course and the agency refocused its attention on how the event was run to efficiently and effectively manage our fundraising outcome.”
To reduce the presentations and speeches, the agency has moved the presentation of its Cutting Award for community service to the Annual Breakfast.
In addition, the event is smaller and more intimate with a limited number of tickets being sold. At $200 per ticket, it is also a much higher-end event at a private venue. The fundraising goal is $100,000 – a third of the agency’s operating budget.
The SYFS mission is to provide counseling and other supportive services to members of the community. As such, they have provided services through a variety of programs to over 700 families, including empowering young girls, programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities, fuel assistance, services for residents of the Shrewsbury Housing Authority, anti-bullying, combatting substance and opioid abuse, as well as addressing depression and suicide prevention.
The agency is growing and has a long wait for counseling services. They soon will be moving into a new building.
This year’s event offers a better way to raise more funds, not just cover costs. Fahs promises an evening of fun with a delicious dinner and a hosted bar. Guests will be entertained by the renowned NYC Dueling Pianos, who will dazzle the audience with a rousing performance.
This event features a silent auction that will include a custom-made pendant designed by J. Briggs & Co.; his and her watches from Sachs Jewelry; golf foursomes to the Worcester Country Club and The Haven; and a few overnight excursions. There will also be a wine pull sponsored by Total Wines of Shrewsbury.
For those who cannot attend this event, the board is planning another, more casual gathering to coincide with the Spirit of Shrewsbury.