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Lutheran Education Foundation livestreams 25th annual gala, raises $125K
Lutheran Education Foundation livestreams 25th annual gala, raises $125K
Keli Martin
Friday, April 17, 2020

The Lutheran Education Foundation (LEF) hosted its 25th annual Lincoln Lutheran Gala on March 27 through livestream instead of in-person due to the coronavirus situation.

Early in March, LEF started discussing alternatives for the gala, and on March 17th decided to shift to livestream. The decision was made easier because mobile bidding has been utilized for the past three years at the annual event. Thanks to Inspirmedia Productions, LEF was able to present a livestreamed event to the Lincoln Lutheran Warriors family.

“In planning this 25th Gala, we wanted to make it a memorable event,” said Lloyd Wagnitz, director of ministry advancement. “It was memorable, just not quite in the way we had originally planned.”

Silent auction items were opened up for bidding March 27 at 8 a.m., and “live” auction items opened up for bidding during the livestream. Over $125,000 was raised.

“The virtual event allowed us to control expenses and provide more funds to support Christian education for current and future students,” Wagnitz said.

The annual awards traditionally presented at the gala will be presented at a future date, he said. The 2020 Shield of Faith Award recipients are Lyle and Nancy Middendorf, and the 2020 Founders Award recipients are Dennis and Joan Brink. The two awards recognize the many ways these supporters have enhanced the ministry of Lincoln Lutheran and Lutheran Education to the Lincoln community.

“In March 2019, we started talking about how to make our 25th gala a night to remember,” said Kristin Bennett, development assistant and gala coordinator. “I wanted to make it big and spectacular! It was definitely big and unforgettable, maybe not quite as spectacular as I wanted. But, God had his hand on the entire event, reminding us that we are not in control but He is.”

The 26th annual Gala is scheduled for March 19, 2021.