Hanaburgh wins honor at YMCA casino-themed event

JOHNSTOWN – Supporters came out in droves Friday night as part of the Fulton County YMCA’s annual Dinner Dance in support of the YMCA’s multiple projects and donations.

Fulton County YMCA CEO Steven Serge said the event, with a “Casino Royale” theme, was popular

“The YMCA contributes a considerable amount of financial assistance to the community each year,” Serge said.

The YMCA gave $88,000 to the community in 2012 through programs like membership assistance for those who are income eligible and summer camp programs, Serge said.

“I anticipate we will raise somewhere around $10,000 to $15,000,” Serge said.

Beth Connelie, chairwoman of the Dinner Dance committee, said the theme for the night was decided after looking back at previous years.

“We wanted something a little different,” Connelie said, picking the Casino theme for a simple reason.

“Everyone likes to have fun,” Connelie said.

Connelie said about 115 tickets were sold for the event.

A silent auction included Giants pre-season tickets, vacations to Lake George and more.

Anita Hanaburgh received the 2013 “Leader of Leaders” Award for her work in the Fulton County area. Officials said she was the driving force behind the creation of the YMCA Residential Center in Gloversville.

According to Pat Beck, also publisher of The Leader-Herald, Hanaburgh raised tens of thousands of dollars for scholarships through the Celebrity Chef Dinner, raised $15,000 in contributions to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany with Denise Walsh, spent hours “knee deep in debris helping to clean up homes in Schoharie damaged by the flood [caused by Hurricane Irene] and created an outreach program for international students at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

“Anita, you reflect those core values in all that you have done and will continue to do as you re-invent yourself,” Beck said, referencing a saying of Hanaburgh’s.

Hanaburgh thanked the crowd for the honor, but joked that all the hard work had an effect.

“I got so good at asking for money that when I would show up at a cocktail party, everyone would go away,” Hanaburgh joked.