Members of the Long Beach Basket Brigade pack baskets full of food in preparation to distribute the Thanksgiving Day meal baskets to needy families in the community in time for the holiday during its assembly and delivery event in 2008. Photo courtesy of Long Beach Basket Brigade.

2:45pm | A local nonprofit that distributes Thanksgiving Day baskets chock full of foodstuffs to ensure needy families are able to celebrate the holiday with a proper meal complete with all the fixings is gearing up for its annual fundraiser gala, and the deadline to purchase discounted tickets is fast approaching.

The Long Beach Basket Brigade’s third annual Fundraiser Gala is set for Saturday, June 4, at The Grand Long Beach Event Center. The evening will feature a Texas hold ’em and Bunco tournaments, silent and live auctions, cocktails and dinner.

Gala tickets are available now at the discounted price of $75. This special price ends in just three days (Monday, May 16), after which time tickets will be $90.

The brigade was launched in 2005 by a local family that wished to provide Thanksgiving dinners to Long Beach families in need. That first year, they delivered 50 baskets. Every year since, that number has steadily grown. In 2010, the organization delivered more than 800 baskets.

“Through the generosity of individuals and local businesses, we are able to provide hope to families in need by making it possible for them to share in the celebration of gratitude that Thanksgiving symbolizes,” said Kym Livesay, co-founder of the Long Beach Basket ;Brigade. “If each of us is committed to a small act of giving this Thanksgiving season, we can transform the lives of hundreds of local Long Beach residents.”

Basket Brigade volunteers include local residents, schools, businesses and civic leaders.

Funds raised at the Gala will be used to purchase Turkey Day essentials, all of which will be used to assemble holiday meal baskets on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, when the brigade will gather at a community center to make and deliver the baskets to an ever-growing list of families in need. This years assembly and delivery event is slated for Nov. 19.
On June 4, gala registration, the silent auction and cocktail service will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the tournaments to follow beginning at 6 p.m. Finally, the dinner and live auction will round out the event beginning at 7 p.m. and running until 8:30 p.m.

The Grand is located at 4101 E. Willow St.

For more information about The Long Beach Basket Brigade, the fundraiser or to purchase tickets, contact Carolyn Brooks at 562-896-1393 or visit