Staff members and volunteers are hard at work organizing the upcoming Sunflower Diversified Charity Gala and they could use the community’s help – especially because this is the non-profit agency’s 50thanniversary.
The 11thannual Gala is set for Saturday, March 5 at the Great Bend Events Center, 3111 10thin Great Bend. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental delays and disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
“Each Gala over the years has been special for the people we serve,” said Connie Oetken, director of development. “But we want to go all out for our 50thbirthday.
“We are gathering sponsorships and donated items for our live and silent auctions,” Oetken noted. “We also have sent invitations to long-time Gala participants and hope to see many new faces this year too. Anyone who has attended in the past can tell you how gratifying it is to support our neighbors with disabilities and delays.”
Tickets are available now for $100 each. This donation includes a choice of prime rib or chicken breast dinner with all the trimmings, wine on every table and an open bar. Classic Inn will cater the meal.
The basketball arcade, putting green and silent auction will be in full swing during the social hour. Sunflower’s version of Deal or No Deal also is on the agenda.
Mike Niedens will showcase the live-auction items and Scott Donovan will entertain as emcee.
“Mike and Scott are invaluable to our Gala,” Oetken said. “They have a deep desire to support people who need a helping hand, while entertaining the crowd at the same time.”
All proceeds help supplement the cost of direct services, such as early education, independent living and employment opportunities. In addition, donations help pay for adaptive equipment, communications devices, and medical and dental care for Sunflower clients.
“State and local tax revenues do not even come close to adequately funding these and other Sunflower services and equipment,” Oetken emphasized. “Our Gala and other fundraisers throughout the year allow us to offer this crucial support to the people we serve.
“The Gala is our biggest event of the year and once again we are trusting in the kind hearts of people in central Kansas,” Oetken continued. “A good turnout will ensure that more people will get the services and equipment they need.”
Anyone who wants to buy tickets, and/or donate time, money or auction items is encouraged to contact Oetken by calling 620-792-1325.