An anonymous donor has added to the excitement that is already building for this year’s Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala, said Connie Oetken, director of development at the non-profit agency.
A 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King will be a highlight of the live auction. The blue fuel-injected Hog, with only 39,000 miles, “is in beautiful condition and ready to roll,” Oetken noted.
The Gala is set for Saturday, March 3 at the Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10thin Great Bend. The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and the silent auction items will be available during the evening. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the live auction will follow.
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. All Gala proceeds stay in these communities.
“We are beyond thrilled with this Harley donation and the other items we have collected so far,” Oetken said. “Our Gala has a history of out-of-the-ordinary auction items and this year will be no exception.
“Any individual or business that wants to donate to the live and/or silent auction is encouraged to contact us,” Oetken added. “We are always looking for items in every price range.”
The theme for this 13thannual event is “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Those who attend can count on the popular basketball arcade and Putt “N’ Play, along with Sunflower’s version of Deal or No Deal. And one participant in the Diamond & Champagne event will take home a one-third-karat diamond.
There will be hors d’oeuvres, wine at each table, an open bar and the meal catered by Classic Inn. Mike Niedens is the auctioneer and Scott Donovan of Eagle Radio will be the emcee; Emma Bieker will entertain at the keyboard. Cost is $ 100 per person.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and is so important to the people we serve and their families,” Oetken said. “Revenues from state and local governments do not come close to meeting all the needs of our clients.
“Gala proceeds will fill some of the financial gaps,” she continued. “For example, they will be used for medical and dental care, adaptive equipment, communication devices and other items.”
Jon Prescott, the new Sunflower executive director, said he is excited to be involved in the Gala planning for the first time.
“This will be an amazing event,” he said. “It is such a blessing to see and experience the generosity of Sunflower supporters from all five counties we serve.
“Connie and her team of volunteers are doing such a great job of organizing this event with incredible food, decorations and auction items. It will be a ton of fun and provide critically needed funds for the services Sunflower provides to so many people in need.”
Sunflower is in its 52ndyear.
For more information about attendance and sponsorships, and how to donate time or auction items, contact Oetken by calling 620-792-1325.