SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WWLP) – In Springfield on Saturday night the community gathered for The City of Bright Nights Ball at MGM Springfield.

The City of Bright Nights Ball is the Spirit of Springfield’s largest annual fundraiser
that helps pay for city-sponsored events year-round. The Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt told 22News that this year’s theme is “timeless love”.

This black-tie-only gala included a gourmet dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions, and a 50/50 raffle. Its guests included local businesses, military, public safety, and political leaders.

Judy Matt the President of Spirit of Springfield said, ” I think it’s important to show what we can do as a city. And the whole theme is timeless love every year we try to do something very meaningful, and we thought this year we need love as much as ever and this room is going to be with love.”

The City of Bright Nights Ball was first held in 1996 at the suggestion of Peter L. Picknelly, Sr. at the Sheraton Springfield. The goal was to raise funds to illuminate public properties for the holiday season that would enhance the displays at Bright Nights at Forest Park.

“If you don’t give back you’re not going to have a great community so we try to give back whenever we can. This is a wonderful event,” said Matt.

The annual fundraiser and support from non-profit organizations efforts bring the community together in celebration with iconic events that include: the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, Star-Spangled Springfield, and Bright Nights at Forest Park.

Luisa Palazzo of Palazzo Cafe in Springfield said, “It’s for good things to have in Springfield. Judy puts out a lot of events otherwise there’s not much going on. Like something like tonight who was going to do this like the pancake breakfast, It brings everyone in town to downtown Springfield.”