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YMCA getting ready for Priceless Gifts gala
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For ticket information, call the Effingham YMCA at 826-2199.

There are still tickets left for Saturday night’s YMCA Priceless Gifts gala — but folks interested in going may not want to wait until the last minute.

Effingham YMCA Executive Director Kim Dennis said that as of a week ago there had been 100 tickets sold. But there’s only 300 tickets to be sold total.

“This is the biggest fundraiser we have ever done,” Dennis said. “I think it’s going to be a big deal. This is the largest undertaking we’ve ever done.”

Headlining the event is comedian James Gregory, billed as “the funniest man in America.” The dinner for the event is being prepared by a locally-renowned cater, Dennis said.

“We’ve never done it on this level before,” Dennis said of the gala, now in its third year. “We up the ante each year.”

Dennis said Priceless Gifts campaign chairman Tim Coleman deserves the credit for putting the evening together.

“Tim took it and ran with it,” she said.

Attendees also may be surprised at the venue — the auditorium of the JCB headquarters in Pooler.

“I had no idea what was behind there,” Dennis said.

In addition to the dinner and the show, there will be live and silent auctions.

“The campaign’s been a little slow-going,” she said. “But we’re hopeful the community will come out to the gala.”

Like other organizations, the economic slide has taken a toll on the Y.

“Our scholarship numbers have doubled since November,” Dennis said.

And the Priceless Gifts campaign is geared toward funding the Y scholarships. The Y doesn’t want anyone who can’t afford its services to be turned away.

“We’ve got to be able to fund that,” Dennis said. “The demand is that much greater.  We’re hoping to get a lot of people involved. There’s been so much time and energy put into it.”

Having Gregory on the bill also has attracted gala-goers from outside of Effingham, according to Dennis.

Tickets are $100 each and for all the evening has to offer, it’s a “bargain price,” Dennis said. For ticket information, call the Y at 826-2199.

“We’re hoping people come out to see it,” she said. “We want to tell them about the Y and the mission and the scholarships and generate excitement and interest in the Y.”