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List of Sunflower Gala auction items continues to grow; still room for more
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Since a brand-new golf cart was donated last fall to the Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala live auction, the list of attractive items has continued to grow, said Connie Oetken, director of development.

“Thanks to our generous five-county community, we have received many big-ticket items, as well as numerous offerings for the silent auction,” Oetken said. “Anyone who wants to donate an item and/or reserve a seat at the Gala is encouraged to contact us.”

The 14th annual event begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at the Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10th Street. Participants can expect an open bar, wine at every table and a meal catered by Classic Inn.

“The Gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Oetken noted. “The community has a legacy of supporting our neighbors with intellectual disabilities and delays. We trust that legacy will continue.”

In addition to the cart, another golf-related donation includes four rounds of golf, four steak dinners, four private indoor golf lessons by PGA certified instructor Tom Swain, and six rounds of indoor golf with selections from 50 featured courses such as St. Andrews and Pebble Beach.

Other live auction selections include: limousine transportation to and from next year’s Gala; Green Mountain grill; football autographed by Bill Snyder; handgun; hand-carved Jayhawk; Serta queen mattress and box springs; 75-quart Bison cooler; 239-piece mechanics tool kit; money wreath; basketball signed by Dean Wade; 5-by-8-foot trailer with sideboards; Cross Mountain Home; and The Lodge at Branson.

Categories for the silent auction include: jewelry; wall hangings; bath and body gifts; wine; gift certificates; purses; seasonings; housewares; and cat and dog food.

“We always try to offer something for everyone’s taste and budget,” Oetken. “The community stepped up again this year to allow us to reach this goal.

“Every dollar we raise supplements the cost of direct services such as early education, independent living and employment opportunities. Our fundraisers are crucial to the people we serve because there is so much need and not enough tax revenues.”

Auctioneer Mike Niedens and Emcee Scott Donovan will keep the audience informed and entertained again this year. The basketball arcade and putting green will be available.

A seat at the Gala is $100. Contact Oetken by calling 620-792-1325 for more information, or to donate or make a reservation.

Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves infants, toddlers and adults with intellectual disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 53rd year.