Mayor’s Gala to support Lacey veterans

Second biennial Lacey Mayor’s Gala to benefit the Lacey Veterans Services Hub

By Margaret Bicker on May 23, 2019

On Friday, May 31, the Lacey biennial Mayor's Gala will feature an evening of food and fun that will benefit the Lacey Veterans Services Hub. Located on the Lacey Campus of the South Sound Community College, the Mayor's Gala this year promises to be an evening to remember. Beginning at 6 p.m., the Gala will include a social hour with appetizers, drinks and a string quartet. This will be followed by dinner, a special program, a Dessert Dash and a Paddle Raise.

The biennial fundraising gala was started in 2017 as part of Lacey's semi-centennial celebration. Its purpose is "to bring community awareness to the Veterans Hub and to support our 32,000 local veterans," said Jenny Bauersfield, Community Relations Specialist for the City of Lacey. She continued, "One of our favorite parts of the evening is the community coming together, having a good time, and supporting our local veterans."

The Lacey Veterans Services Hub was launched in October 2016. It is a network of "52 service providers/partners with six additional providers waiting for available space to join the effort," said Bauersfield.

"The Hub and its outstanding service providers are truly filling a tremendous need in our community," said Lacey's Mayor Andy Ryder. "In 2018 alone, the Lacey Veterans Services Hub facilitated nearly 6,500 client appointments."

The Hub seeks to focus on the whole person by providing access to housing, employment, education, legal assistance and more. They partner with the Thurston County Food Bank to offer emergency resources for veterans and their families. They provide transportation to and from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the American Lake Veteran's Hospital. They also offer counseling, support groups and peer advising with a focus on trauma recovery and emotional wellness.

There are Veteran Service Officers on hand at the Hub to help create plans and assist veterans in accessing their full VA benefits. According to Bauersfield, "National statistics indicate that nearly one-half of our veteran population may never access their earned benefits, so for Lacey to have this resource in our community is priceless. There is no other model like this throughout the nation."

Mayor Ryder added, "I'm excited to spend an evening with our community members, raising awareness and money to support our local veterans."

It's going to be a fun evening," said Bauersfeld. "One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at the Mayor's Gala will go to the Lacey Veterans Services Hub."

The 2017 Mayor's Gala raised $35,000, which, according to Bauersfield, funded "new training and meeting room equipment, new furniture, the vans for the veterans pilot program, emergency voucher program, and the volunteer recognition program." This year, they hope to raise even more.

Tickets for the Gala may be purchased at the City of Lacey website ( for $50 per person. Tables of eight may also be purchased for $400. Those interested in donating a dessert for the Dessert Dash are encouraged to check out the website for more information. Cocktail apparel is recommended. 

Lacey Mayor's Gala, 6-9 p.m., Friday, May 31, South Sound Community College Lacey Campus, 4220 6th Ave. SE, Lacey, $50/person, $400/table of 8, 360.491.3214,

Lacey Veterans Services Hub, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, 4232 6th Ave. SE, Lacey, 360.456.3850