If the Night of Memories’ net on Saturday night was any indication, our economy is indeed back on track. One year after netting $74,000, the annual fundraiser primarily for youth sports netted more than $110,000, said Tri-State Hot Stove League president Larry Broerman. He and vice president Paul Gries said it is probably the highest total in Night of Memories’ history.
“We grossed $155,000 and our net was at least $110,000,” Broerman said on Sunday. “The money was a little freer than last year with the money that was coming in. We sold the corporate tables quicker and easier than in the past. Last year the economy got us.” Proceeds from the Night of Memories always go to youth sports, plus local Boys and Girls Clubs and has also gone to Habitat for Humanity in the past, Broerman said. This year’s special recipient will be Youth First, a program whose stated mission is “to strengthen youth and families through evidence-based programs that prevent substance abuse, promote healthy behaviors, and maximize student success.”
“This is the best year we ever had,” Gries said. “The place was filled. “Ozzie Smith obviously added a lot to the Night and Raymond Berry. Naturally, a lot of people also come to see (Evansville natives) Bob Griese and Don Mattingly. It was a really great night. I’m really happy.” The overall total for the 12-year event has easily surpassed $1 million, Broerman said. “We had grossed about $941,000 or $942,000 going into this year,” he said. A total of four Super Bowl tickets for next year’s game in Indianapolis, two sets of two tickets each, netted $15,800 on Saturday, was the top item, Broerman said. A bat autographed by several members of the 500-home run club, including Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Hank Aaaron, Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Ernie Banks, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray garnered $4,100. A Legend of Celtics basketball autographed by several former players, including Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Sam Jones was auctioned for $1,500. The autograph session, with additional fees for autographs from the special guests, raised $30,000 and the live auction close to $62,000, Broerman said.