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Sunflower plans virtual Gala; items needed for live and silent auctions
Cody Harris arranges a few items that have been donated to the Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala silent and live auctions that will be available online April 24. Harris is director of planned giving and community support at the non-profit agency.

Even though the traditional Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala had to be canceled this year because of the pandemic, a virtual substitute has been scheduled.

The all-day event is set for Saturday, April 24, featuring silent and live auctions. The silent version will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the live auction is scheduled for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sunflower continues to solicit items for both auctions.

“We are disappointed we had to cancel our 16th annual auction and banquet,” said Cody Harris, director of planned giving and community support. “But the need to seek financial help for people with special needs can never be canceled.

“Needs continue to grow for children and adults who rely on their neighbors to fill many financial gaps,” Harris continued. “Tax revenues cover many programs but clients need help with medical and dental services, and adaptive equipment devices. People with disabilities and delays are trusting in the community’s generosity.”

Prior to the virtual event, local and area residents are encouraged to order a To-Go Party Pack; the deadline for ordering is Friday, April 9. A donation of $100 is required.

The Party Pack includes one large Take ‘N’ Bake Papa Murphy’s Pizza; two 32-ounce Crowlers from Dry Lake Brewing; and two commemorative pint glasses, with chocolates.

The packs may be picked up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 24 at 5605 10th St., the former Pro-Tint location. “You do not have to donate for a Party Pack to participate in the auctions,” Harris emphasized. “Everyone is more than welcome to get in on the bidding action.”

For more information on how to donate or register, visit

In the near future, the community can have a sneak-peek at auction items, also on the website.

“We are referring to the event this year as the Home Sweet Gala,” Harris noted. “You can support people with special needs by yourself in your own home or gather with family and friends. We want you to be comfortable and keep the bidding going.”

The Gala auction also offers opportunities to donate funds specifically to Sunflower’s Invest in Kids Club and/or Beautiful Minds Art Studio.

“Both entities are crucial parts of the Sunflower family,” Harris commented. “Contributions to Invest in Kids go directly to services for infants and toddlers at our Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool. The art studio provides a creative outlet for adults who thrive as they express themselves artistically.”

So far, live auction items include a Smith & Wesson double-action revolver manufactured between 1895 and 1909; a Napoleon TravelQ Series grill; and a signed University of Kansas basketball. Silent-auction categories include toys, household décor items, artwork and gift cards to local businesses.

“We appreciate everyone who has already donated,” Harris said. “However, we can use approximately 50 more silent auction items and another dozen or so for the live version, which is limited to about 15 items.

For more information, contact Harris by calling 620-792-1321.

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.