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Sunflower Gala auction items collected but more are needed
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              In addition to a 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King, other donations are being collected for the Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala live and silent auctions.

            “We have collected a number of bigger items for the live auction, along with smaller ones for the silent auction,” said Connie Oetken, Sunflower director of development. “But we still have a ways to go.

            “Businesses and individuals still have time to donate items to either or both auctions,” she added. “And we are still taking reservations for this great annual event.”

            The Gala is set for Saturday, March 3 at the Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10th, Great Bend. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and silent auction items will be available during the evening. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the live auction will follow.

            Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves infants, toddlers and adults with intellectual delays and disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. All Gala proceeds stay in these communities.

            So far, live auction items include: a money wreath; catered dinner for eight; disc cooker; beef or pork bundle; shrimp boil for 10; Budwesier stein collection; Coach bags and matching wallets; three-night stay at the Lodges of Table Rock in Missouri; one-night stay at the Wolf Hotel in Ellinwood; one-night stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City; University of Kansas-themed corn-hole game; and a birdbath.

            During the silent auction, participants can bid on items in a number of categories, including: tools; brooms; Traeger pellets and seasonings; Pampered Chef products; jewelry; fishing pole; gift certificates; pictures; and gift baskets.

            “We cannot thank each donor enough for this generosity,” Oetken said. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and the people we serve appreciate this collaboration between Sunflower and the central Kansas community.”

            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.

            “Our local communities have always been generous during our Gala,” Oetken said. “They understand they are helping our clients fill some financial gaps for medical and dental care, adaptive equipment, communication devices and other items.”

            For more information about attendance and sponsorships, and how to donate time or auction items, contact Sunflower by calling 620-792-1325.