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ALTON/GODFREY - Senior Services Plus will host their second annual gala to fundraise for programs like Meals on Wheels.

Senior Services Plus (SSP), a local organization that assists older adults throughout the Riverbend region, is looking for help to provide more meals and programs for seniors. The gala is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, 2024, at Lewis and Clark Community College, and community members can enjoy drinks, a meal and a dueling pianos performance while supporting the organization, now in its 51st year.

“It’s hard to believe it’s a month away,” said Sydney, who helped organize the gala. “We’ve got all the important things: food, drinks, music and fundraising.”

Sydney and Emily both work at SSP. They explained that the gala will be a fun night to fundraise as well as honor some of the organizations that boost SSP’s success.

SSP will recognize corporate partners SEEL and Humana and community partners AgeSmart Community Resources and Quackcom. They will also honor the Alton Fire Department and the Alton Police Department as local “community heroes.”

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“Each of these honorees that we will honor this year plays a huge piece in making sure that the services we’re providing are either expanded upon, are actually there for us to provide, or are augmenting what we’re doing and helping to keep older adults safe in our community and healthy and thriving and living,” Emily said. “They’re integral to making sure what we’re doing is happening and happening well.”

The gala’s theme is 1950s Old Hollywood. Chef Bob’s Catering will provide the meal, and attendees can also enjoy a cash bar and silent auction. The first 50 glasses of wine and beer will be free, as will the first 25 signature Red Carpet Martinis that are served that night.

This is thanks to the sponsors and donors who have contributed to the gala. All proceeds from the event will go back to SSP to support their programs. This year, they have decided to highlight their Meals on Wheels program, which supports over 1,000 people in the Riverbend region. In the past year, they have served over 270,000 meals to senior citizens in the community.

Emily and Sydney point out that most of the clients who utilize Meals on Wheels have worked all their lives. They are now simply in a position where they can’t work anymore and want to stay in their homes. SSP aims to make this possible by providing services like Meals on Wheels.

“The population just continues to age, and we are filling that need,” Emily said. “That program really runs on making sure that we’re fundraising to help offset the costs. We can do so much, but we really have to make sure we have proper planning in place to continue to be able to account for the additional older adults.”

This is where the gala comes into play. Sydney and Emily hope that by celebrating SSP and outlining their services with the community, they can get the support they need to keep helping the older adults in the Riverbend area.

“Each of these big fundraising events has its own specific goal,” Emily added. “We did a great job in year one. I think we surpassed our expectations, and year two is just continuing to get the community involved and onboard with this type of event and integrating and sharing our story.”

For more information about Senior Services Plus, you can visit their official website at SeniorServicesPlus.org. You can also buy tickets online or learn more about becoming a sponsor for the event.

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