Professionals team up to form charity group

The seven founders of the GNBF, all of whom are in their 30s and 40s, include Josh Bradshaw, Tim Perry, Andy MacDonald, Josh Baumfeld, Daryl Colden, Paul Dahn and Jamie Gagnon.

“We saw that there was a void in our demographic for foundations around town, and we want to fill that void and get people our age to become more active in the community,” Perry said.

The group started in 2008 raising funds and organizing a small food drive at the Turkey Trot Trail Race in Salisbury last year and after that decided they wanted to see what more they could do to help those in need.

From there came a fundraiser at the Port Tavern in Newburyport that was held in May that raised about $5,000 and a cleanup of Atkinson Common, which involved many volunteers, including children.

“The big part is trying to get children involved with the effort; we had about 30 kids running around that day,” Bradshaw said.

On Saturday, the GNBF is hosting a fundraising event at 7 p.m. at Mission Oak Grill in downtown Newburyport with all the proceeds going to The Pettengill House in Salisbury. The suggested donation for the event is $100 per couple.

The goal of the GNBF is to raise awareness and funds for local charities. Each year they will pick a different charity.

The Pettengill House is a nonprofit agency that donates their time and services to those in need.

“We provide services to about 2,700 children and families. The Greater Newburyport Benevolence Foundation is celebrating what we do and helping us to really raise awareness,” said Deb Smith, the executive director of the Pettengill House.

The event at Mission Oak Grill on Saturday has plenty in store. The band Poke Chop will be playing. There will be appetizers, a raffle and a silent auction.

Some of the donations for the auction include a Loon Mountain weekend getaway, a vacation house in Vieques, Puerto Rico, for a week, Boston College hockey tickets located at center ice, gym memberships, autographed sports memorabilia and many other items.

“Saturday is certain to be a great night, with 99.9 percent of the proceeds being donated to the Pettengill House,” said Bradshaw, who expects a large crowd for Saturday.

“We are expecting about 200 to 300 people to come,” Perry said. “All who would like to donate are welcome.”

As for future events, the GNBF plans to make the Turkey Trot Trail Race and the fundraiser at the Port Tavern annual events, and the group is already thinking about the charity they plan to sponsor in the year 2010.

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