VCS gala fundraiser set for May 3

SMOKEY POINT — This year’s Village Community Services gala fundraiser will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, at the Medallion Hotel, located at 16710 Smokey Point Blvd.

This year’s theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and this year’s program will feature Karen Gaffney, an accomplished cold-water swimmer, educator and motivational speaker who also has Down Syndrome.

Gaffney is the president of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, workplaces and communities for people with developmental disabilities. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Ore., and earned a two-year associates of science degree from Portland Community College.

In addition to traveling the country as a speaker, Gaffney successfully swam the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team. Two years ago, she swam nine miles across Lake Tahoe, in 59-degree water, to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress, and to show the world that people with Down Syndrome are more alike, rather than different, from everyone else.

Proceeds from the live auction and $32-per-plate Italian buffet dinner will go toward Village Community Services’ programs in support of adults with disabilities and other life challenges, to help them achieve their personal potential at home, at work and in their communities.

RSVP by purchasing your tickets online at, or by calling VCS Director of Development Michelle Dietz at 360-653-7752, ext. 14.

Those who are interested in bringing a bottle of wine or prize for the wine toss, or providing desserts or live auction items, should also call Dietz at that same number, or via email at

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