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Tickets on sale for BCC Big Benefit Auction

POSTED July 14, 2011 1:47 p.m.
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The annual Big Benefit Auction is sure to be a spicy-hot ticket this August with a theme of “Salsa & Sombreros.” Those tickets go on sale Monday, July 18.
The 33rd-annual Big Benefit Auction, hosted by the Barton Community College Foundation, is set for Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Highland Hotel and Convention Center, 3017 10th Street, Great Bend. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the live auction begins at 8 p.m. A Mexican buffet will be served. The auction is the Foundation’s main fund-raiser for academic scholarships and program enhancements.
Price of tickets is $30 per person or $240 for a table of eight. Ticket sales will continue through Aug. 19 and tickets will not be sold at the door. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Foundation Office by telephone, 620-786-1136, or by e-mail,
“Each year we try to find a theme and ideas for donations that will entice our attendees to come, have fun, and yet be generous toward our mission of assisting our students,” said Barton’s executive director of Institutional Advancement Darnell Holopirek. “Our success is only possible if our community supports our efforts. This year the committee from our board really got enthused about this theme. We know everyone will enjoy the environment, including the Mariachi band strolling around during the first couple hours.
More than 40 Foundation volunteers assisted the Foundation with the acquisition phase of the auction by soliciting gifts from businesses and individuals, Those items will be auctioned the night of the event. 
Prior to the auction, the Foundation and the Highland Hotel will co-host a Chamber After Hours event from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Chaser’s located in the hotel. The after-hours event gets people in auction spirit. That’s when some of the auction items are unveiled to the public and auction questions can be answered said executive director of Institutional Advancement Darnell Holopirek.
The silent auction will have approximately 150 items up for bids, including merchandise, gift certificates, food, handcrafted items, works of art, tools, gift baskets, clothing and services such as lawn and pet care.
Of the 40 pieces provided for the live auction, big-ticket items include a Kansas City weekend get-away; an excursion to Branson, Mo.; Kansas State football and basketball tickets; a 51-inch big screen television with 3D and Blue Ray; and a John Deere riding lawn mower.
The auction also has sponsors and underwriters who provide funds for some of the auction items and other costs of the event. Major sponsors for the auction are First Kansas Bank, St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgical Center, Great Bend Farm Equipment and Farmers Bank and Trust, Great Bend Regional Hospital, and Benefit Management Inc. (BMI).
Auction underwriters are Niedens Construction, L&M Contractors, Jim and Kathi Armatys, CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Roto-Mix, Central States Alfalfa, Cal-Maine Foods of Kansas, Hoelscher Commercial Products, and Venture Corporation. Carr Auction and Real Estate, Larned, will conduct the live auction.
A highlight of each Big Benefit Auction is the Old Bill Honorarium. This year the honorarium is named in honor of Roger and Mary Lou Murphy.
The Murphy’s are lifelong residents of Great Bend and have always been active in community initiatives. Most recently Barton benefited from their commitment and generosity by their donation to the Learning Resource Center. Barton’s reference and circulation desk in the Library, which is housed in the LRC, bears the name “Murphy’s Landing.”
All money donated for the Roger and Mary Lou Murphy Honorarium will be used for scholarships in the 2012-13 academic year.
Honorary co-chairs of this year’s auction are the Ringwald family. Mike and Linda Ringwald, along with their three sons and families: Chad and Angie, Chris and Cari, and Justin. The family has supported the College and the auction for many years. Chris served on the Foundation Board of Directors for six years, served as an officer of the Board for three years, and served as Board chair last year. His wife, Cari, served as director of marketing for several years at Barton.


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