Jackson County Times

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Covenant Hospice Gala Does It Again! Over $60,000!!

Annual fund raising event always a huge success By Sid Riley

Great music, great food, great bargains at auction, great fun,….and all for a great cause! In a nutshell, that is the story of the annual Covenant Hospice Gala fundraising auction which was held at the Pennsylvania Avenue Agricultural Center last Saturday evening. Jennifer Griffin, Development Manager for Covenant Hospice, was overjoyed with the results of this year’s event.

Griffin stated that it appears this year’s gala surpassed the $56,000 which was raised at last year’s event. “The increase was realized because several new sponsors participated, and several of the previous sponsors were willing to give more this year,” Griffin said.

Over 300 local citizens and hospice supporters turned out to enjoy the event. Music was provided by the great local band, “Twenty On Red” with lead singer Carol Dunaway, which provided entertainment and background to the evening of festivities. Other members of this fine entertainment group are Elton Alford, Richard Hinson, Randall Hinson, Sonny Dunaway, Kit Reagan and Toray Lien.

The Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening was the well known Channel 7 news anchor in Panama City, Neysa Wilkins. Gerald Mason was the “Awesome Auctioneer”. Oglesby Plants International donated the plants for the flower market.

While the band entertained, the evening began with a silent auction, where attendees moved along a long line of tables filled with great “bargains” which were put up by a host of local businesses as donations to the event. Shoppers were able to enter a written bid on the listing for each offering, with the final highest bid winning the item. Everything from art, collector’s signed photographs of the “Star Trek” crew and Yogi Berra, to oil changes and animal spays were for sale.

Next came the meal. The servers quickly delivered to each table plates loaded with a great steak, seasoned mashed potato’s, and veggies, along with a salad and a scrumptious cheese cake and fruit dessert. And the band played on. Over fifty volunteers assisted the Covenant staff in the gala event. Students from Evangel Worship Center and area FFA organization worked as servers…and did a great job.

Then came the main event…the live auction. Local Auctioneer, Gerald Mason, entertained the crowd as he auctioned off the “big ticket” items which had been donated by generous benefactors. Among these were artist painted Adirondack Chairs, swings and benches among which were logo’s of the University of Florida, Florida State, and Auburn. The items which went for the highest bidding were a week’s stay at a multi-million dollar 5 Palms beach home in Destin which was donated by Roy Mohon, an evening with a gourmet meal and private entertainment provided by recording star Shane Owens, which was donated by Madison’s Restaurant, and a Gazebo which was offered by Lt. jimmy Gipson of Washington County Correctional Institution.

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