Gala at UMass to benefit Dot Park

This year’s edition of the annual Dorchester Park benefit gala will continue the tradition established last year of trading the sylvan for the swanky, as organizers bring the event to the UMass-Boston’s Grand Ballroom.

Dot Park 3 will be held at the UMass venue next Friday (Sept. 18) from 6-11 p.m. Proceeds from the cocktail hour, reception, and dinner event will go toward establishing an endowment to help maintain the passive green areas of the park not currently provided for by the city’s Parks Department.

The benefit and celebration series began three years ago with a gala in the park itself before moving to a smaller affair downtown in 2008. This year’s fundraiser looks to combine the original’s crowd size with last year’s indoor environment. Projectors set around the ballroom will display images of the park to give the party a forested feel.

Benefit organizer Richard O’Mara of Cedar Grove Gardens said that he expects about 300 people to attend the event. The Dorchester Park Association, which organizes the event, brought in $75,000 in 2007 and the 2008 celebration earned 20 percent over its goal, said O’Mara.

Dorchester native Peter Meade will be the master of ceremonies for the evening, which will feature an auction offering items such as a “downtown sporting” package containing Celtics tickets and a meal at one of Boston’s finer restaurants. Other items up for auction include a “dining in Dorchester” package that includes meals at Tavolo, 224 Boston Street, and Ashmont Grill. The Corcoran and Jennison Company has donated a weekend getaway package to the Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Course in Brewster.

By relocating the event to UMass, the Park Association will save an estimated $27,000 over the cost of holding the gala at the park itself, said O’Mara.

The open bar and black-tie-optional event is $150 per ticket, with tables of eight available for $1,000. The Dorchester Park Association is a registered 501c charity organization and all donations are fully tax deductable.

For more information go to dotpark.org or contact Richard O’Mara at 617-825-8582.