The organizers of the annual Halloween Masquerade Ball were delighted to announce they raised nearly $70,000 for the Capital Region office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Board Chairman Sam Palazzole and his wife, Linda, Gala Committee chairwoman, did a marvelous job organizing this well-attended event. The evening was both festive and fun, all while raising money and awareness around the most serious issues facing our children.
Guests arrived at Saratoga National dressed to the nines in fabulous costumes, sipping cocktails and enjoying hors d’oeuvres as they perused the many silent auction items. Bob McKenna, Yono and Donna Purnomo, Kevin Johnson, Deidre Chuckrow, Ed Evers, David Fallon, Melanie Grossman, William Hawkins, John Kelly, William Leege, Gary Mattison, Edward Moore, Patty Riggi, Bob Quick and NCMEC Executive Director Ed Suk were all in attendance, as well as several members of local law enforcement, including members of the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshall’s Office, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Hudson Falls police and Saratoga Springs police.
Families of missing children were represented by the Frear, Lyall, Heiber and Reyes families. The silent auction items were bid on heavily and ranged from jewelry to sports tickets and memorabilia, to restaurant gift certificates and entertainment packages.
As guests made their way into the ballroom, mistress of ceremonies Liz Bishop welcomed everyone and began the evening’s program. Speakers included Sam Palazzole, Laura Emanatian of the Saratoga Springs Police Department and Mike Giovanone, the recipient of the John Walsh Award.
This was followed by some very spirited bidding for some fantastic live auction items.
David Stack and his wife were the lucky winners of an outstanding car experience that included a personal tour through Jim Taylor’s automobile collection followed by a drive through the Adirondacks in which they will try four of Taylor’s different cars, such as a Ferrari and Aston Martin.
McKenna and Ryan Van Hall will get a chance to escape to some warmer weather this winter, both winning a week in Naples, Fla., generously donated by the Basiles.
David Geliebeter and his wife were delighted to bring home Jets tickets, as well as a day at the races with Parting Glass Racing and Tom Gallo.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening’s costume awards were handed out, with Dan and Donna Barber winning for best couple as clowns, Andrew Grazulis of BBL taking home the scariest costume award and Frank Mitola winning for most original as the Mad Hatter. Dressed as Fred Flintstone, Daniel Shepard won the funniest costume award and was joined by Lisa Dunney, dressed as Wilma Flintstone. Andrew was joined by his wife, Tahnya Grazulis. The Masquerade Ball was enjoyed by all and marked another success for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.