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Sunflower Diversified Charity Gala sets record with $61,350 raised
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The Sunflower Diversified Services version of Deal or No Deal raised $6,400 for the non-profit agency at the recent Charity Gala. From left to right are: Brad Shirer, Molly Hildebrand, Doris Spray, Julie Spray and Dr. Mike Burdett.

Sunflower Diversified Services supporters set an all-time record at the 14th annual Charity Gala by raising $61,350 to support local and area families.

“We were simply blown away by this outpouring from our community,” said Connie Oetken, director of development. “It was especially gratifying because of the snowy weather on the night of the Gala. Our supporters ventured out from all five counties in our service area. And to say the very least, they were extremely generous.

“We don’t know how we can ever thank everyone enough,” she continued. “All of us just want our supporters to know their generosity is felt every day here at Sunflower.”

The non-profit agency serves infants, toddlers and adults with intellectual disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.

During the Gala live auction, the brand-new golf cart with all the bells and whistles raised $10,000, while Sunflower’s version of Deal or No Deal brought in $6,400.

Of the 186 attendees at the March 2 Gala, 60 were new to the event. “We appreciate everyone who has attended at any time over the past 14 years and are thrilled about making so many new friends. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to all attendees, donors, sponsors, volunteers and the city of Great Bend.

“The Gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds stay in our local communities,” Oetken added. “Since tax revenues cannot pay for everything, our Gala and other fundraisers help us fill in some of the many financial gaps.”

Proceeds help pay for medical and dental care, therapies, adaptive equipment and communication devices.

“We are already looking ahead to next year when the Gala is set for March 7,” Oetken said. “We hope long-time supporters and newcomers will save the date. We can promise a good time and the personal satisfaction of knowing you have directly helped children and adults with disabilities in our local neighborhoods.”

Sunflower is in its 53rd year.