Ministry of Concern planning first gala event, with $25K fundraising goal

Photo by Ginny Kropf: The committee planning a gala to benefit GOMOC discusses the event scheduled May 18 at the Quality Inn and Suites in Batavia. An anonymous donor has paid for Las Vegas-style entertainer Jimmy Mazz to highlight the evening. From left are Mary Grace DeMarse, Pat Morrisey, Sister Dolores Dowd, executive director Nyla Gaylord and volunteer Kelly Murray.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 17 February 2019 at 11:38 am

ALBION – An agency founded to help the needy is now looking for help.

The Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern is planning its first ever gala May 18 in an effort to cultivate new donors, spread awareness of the Ministry of Concern and raise $25,000 to benefit the agency’s mission.

An anonymous donor has paid for Las Vegas-style entertainer Jimmy Mazz, who will provide an evening of music, impressions and comedy.

“Legends and Laughter” will take place at the Quality Inn and Suites at 8250 Park Rd. in Batavia. Included in the evening will be an elegant buffet dinner, silent auction, door prizes and basket raffle.

“If people have a really good time, they will remember you,” said Nyla Gaylord, executive director of GOMOC. “We are thrilled to have this anonymous couple who believe we do good work and wanted to help. They know Jimmy Mazz and wanted to sponsor him.”

Mazz is not new to the area, having appeared to a sold-out crowd at the Cabaret at Studio B in Albion.

The GOMOC was founded more than 50 years ago as a migrant ministry in Orleans County. Sister Marian Adrian took leadership of the organization and became passionate about its work.

It soon became known as the “Agency of Last Resort,” and during the years has helped hundreds of individuals who are down and out.

The committee planning the gala includes Gaylord; Sister Dolores Dowd, who, like Sister Marian is a Gray Nun; Mary Grace DeMarse of Batavia; volunteer solicitor Kelly Murray of Albion; Pat Morrisey of Albion, who worked with Sister Marian 50 years ago; Judy Boyle of Oakfield; and Amy Monti of Middleport.

“I was on my way to the Peace Corps and stopped to see one of the Mercy nuns,” Morrisey said. “Sister Marian said I could stay here, and I did. I helped run the migrant day care.”

DeMarse, a member of GOMOC’s board, said they plan to make a gala an annual fundraising event.

Mazz is known for his clean humor, Frank Sinatra-style entertainment and engaging with his audience.

Several great prizes have already been donated for the silent auction, including a half-day fishing trip and hand-carved hunting knife.

Anyone wishing to donate a basket may call 589-9210 or 343-5452 and DeMarse will pick them up.

Tickets for the gala are available to purchase at GOMOC’s office at 121 North Main St., Albion; Della’s Chocolates, 512 Main St., Medina; Pies Furniture, 400 South Jackson St., Batavia; and Catholic Charities, 25 Liberty St., Batavia.

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