Lobster Fundraiser helps Sparc with the Extras


By Marilyn Titone Schaefer
AVP, Communications Director

Sparc Lobster - feature artJust as lobster is more than a food staple, the people served by Sparc need more than the bare necessities.  So it makes sense that the dollars raised by the annual “Maine Event Live Lobster Bake” fundraiser are directed to items that make life a little better.

According to Timothy Rigby, chairman of Sparc’s Philanthropic Committee, “Funds raised by the lobster bake will help bridge the gap between providing a person with the bare necessities of life — like food and shelter, which are often paid through governmental support programs — and providing a person with a quality of life that most of us take for granted.”

Sparc’s mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by enabling them to successfully live, learn, work and socialize in the community.

Rigby says Sparc, like many other not-for-profits, hosted a black-tie fundraising dinner, theirs called “Starry Night,” for many years.  “While Starry Night was successful, we wanted to host an event that was different from anything previously seen in Springfield. Sparc’s Fundraising Director, Denise Schainker, identified the concept of a lobster bake and brought it before the board.  It met with overwhelming support.”

Last year’s event was such a success that Rigby anticipates “word of mouth” will be a huge selling point this year.  “People who attended the event last year are eager to return and have told their friends.  That being the case, we believe that this year will be a larger event, and we have planned accordingly.”  Last year Sparc had 300 guests.  The organization is planning for 450 this year.

To enhance the night, Sparc has reserved a terrific band from Chicago, says Rigby.

Rigby is quick to thank Bunn for its partnership in making the lobster bake a success.  “Bunn furnishes us with a location to host the event, as well as a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes support.  We were also blessed by overwhelming support from our many sponsors including LRS, Memorial Health Systems, Hanson Professional Services and HPR Marketing & Consulting.”

Tickets to the Saturday, September 19 event are $125 and can be purchased at any Springfield-area Illinois National Bank location.  Visit the Sparc website for other ways to purchase tickets.

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