By Greg Klein
---- — Nine years ago, the Angel Network of Cooperstown started with an email list of 30 potential donors. The email list now has 400 potential donors, but the growth inside the club, which helps Cooperstown families in need, has been even bigger.
The Angel Network will run its largest fundraiser, “Masquerade” on March 2 at the Otesaga. The event is a masked charity ball. The group came up with the concept last summer when Cooperstown graduate Tyler Lee attended a fundraiser at the Ommegang Brewery.
“We wanted to do something more formal than the Ommegang event,” board member Alyssa McGoldrick said. “(Tyler) worked at Columbia Records and he happened to be visiting and wanted to donate. Then he mentioned that he could get a big New York DJ for us. It gave us the inspiration for the event.”
DJ Rob Flow, whose website calls himself a “workhorse in the NYC club hip hop scene” will play at the ball.
McGoldrick said the club started as a “reuse/recycle” email list after an incident during the 2004-05 school year.
A Cooperstown mother, who has asked to remain anonymous, was helping out at the school. The mother saw a little girl crying because her family could not afford to make her class cupcakes for her birthday. For the little girl’s birthday, the mother made cupcakes for the class. She then began looking for other ways to help her neighbors, and set up the listserv account.
“When the economy changed, the number of families in need went up,” McGoldrick said. “So we began having events with the thought of serving more people.”
Last year, the Angel Network brought Christmas presents to 75 children in 38 families.
“We had 40 families that we reached out to, to see if they needed help,” McGoldrick said. “Two declined, so we were going to help 38. When we sent out an email looking for sponsors, we had 29 groups step forward to sponsor families. The rest we were able to make up from our fundraising.”
The group still sends out email messages looking for help for Cooperstown families in need, but it has expanded to other events. On June 29, it will again host the Tot Trot and 5k at the Clark Sports Center. In the fall, it will host a “My Neighbor’s Closet” yard sale.
McGoldrick said she is pleased with the number of sponsors the group has cultivated.
“We even have one family that lives in Los Angeles, but summers in Cooperstown, that has sent a check to us,” she said. “It is great to see the community pull together to help our members who are in need.”
Tickets to the ball, which will take place from 7 to 11 p.m., cost $45 per person.