This past weekend, the YWCA of NWI hosted its annual Circle of Friends Gala at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, and the circle of friends and supporters was larger than ever. The pandemic forced organizers to hold the event virtually the past two years, so the anticipation of this in-person occasion was high. Hundreds attended in support of the organization, which champions women empowerment and the elimination of racism. The gala was hosted by celebrities Samantha Chatman of ABC 7 Chicago and her father, DJ Sam Chatman of 95.1 FM Chicago Club Steppin’.
After delivering greetings, Gary Mayor Jerome Prince invited members of the Gary Common Council on stage and presented the leadership of the YWCA of NWI with a check for $1.5 million. The funds will support improvements to the facility which is more than 25 years old.
“I can hardly contain my excitement,” said Caren Jones, Executive Director of the YWCA of NWI. “These monies are so needed, and our members deserve all the upgrades and improvements that will take place as a result of this funding.”
Guests in attendance danced the night away and enjoyed performances by the line dancers from the YWCA and Joan Collaso and the Family Band. Awards were presented to several community leaders who have exhibited extraordinary support to the YWCA of NWI. The Circle of Friends honorees included Jack Tonk of the Gary Rotary Club, 4th District Councilwoman Tai Adkins, United Steelworkers leader Markael Watkins and Matt Schuffert of Hard Rock Casino of Northern Indiana, which was also the presenting sponsor of the event.
Video and photos of the fabulous affair can be viewed on the YWCA of Northwest Indiana’s Facebook page, and donations are still being accepted. Be sure to follow the YWCA of NWI on Facebook for regular updates. For more information, call 219-881-9922 or visit www.ywcanwi.org.