Beverly Bootstraps raises record amount at gala


The 2019 Boots & Blooms Gala was a record breaker, bringing in over $171,000 to support Beverly Bootstraps’ programs and services provided to local families and individuals in need.

The event, held on Friday, April 5, at Cruiseport Gloucester, was attended by over 240 generous individuals who believe in Bootstraps’ mission of helping people become self-sufficient. With a colorful floral theme, the springy decor put guests, most dressed in flowery attire, in a festive mood.

In the event’s signature floral competition, Debbie Stashis-Douglass of Danvers Garden Club created a unique boot-shaped arrangement in purples, oranges and greens winning the Garden Club Category. Garden Designs by Kristen, located in Ipswich, triumphed in the florist category with her fruit studded entry complete with tiny gold frog.

During the moving program, Sue Gabriel, executive director of Bootstraaps, spoke of a senior citizen who was anxious about coming to get the help she so desperately needed living on a fixed income.

Heather Johnston, director of donor relations at Bootstraps, told about the children in the organization’s after-school program, who, when she visited to explain why they were asked to make the favors for the gala, were so excited to be the first donors to the event that they pulled out the change from their pockets.

And Joyce Prior, Centerville Elementary School nurse, explained how she takes care of the children at her school by referring them to Bootstraps programs when she sees someone in need – from backpacks and holiday gifts, to summer camp scholarships and, most recently, food bags to ensure they have enough to eat over the weekend.

Beverly Bootstraps thanks everyone who helped make this event a success.