Games and good works drew hundreds to Giving Opportunities To Others' 10th Annual Winter Gala on February 26th. A crowd of more than 400 gathered at the Altman Building in Chelsea to celebrate 10 years of working with other young area professionals to help enrich the lives of inner-city New York middle-school kids through the arts.

The black-tie optional event features a live-band, dancing, a silent auction and a host of table games including craps and ping-pong. Party goers were treated to a performance by a former GOTO scholar, who sang jazz and blues songs with JC Hopkins Biggish Band to kick off the night.

The event raised $20,000 for scholarships to Appel Farm Art and Music Center in Elmer, NJ. Since GOTO's founding in 2001, the tax-exempt non-profit has raised more than $1 million for scholarships, sending 135 kids to camp for 3 consecutive summers.

At camp, the GOTO scholars learn music, theater, visual arts, film and dance from working professionals. The experience gives them exposure to new forms of self-expression, helps build confidence, and provides a needed supplement to disappearing arts programs in schools.

"It really grew me out of my shell," said Alanna McIntyre, who received a scholarship in 2003.

"I was so quiet and shy and I never wanted to talk and be in a crowd with people," said McIntyre, who is now a freshman at Lehman College with a 3.5 GPA. "But now I am so much more talkative and put myself out there."

GOTO looks forward to the next 10 years of making new friends and giving back to the NYC community.

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