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Sunflower Diversified seeks auction items, support for Charity Gala
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This is a scene from last years Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala. Organizers are seeking auction items and other donations for this years event. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

               Preparations for the 12thAnnual Charity Gala sponsored by Sunflower Diversified Services are in high gear and organizers could use the community’s help.

            The non-profit agency’s biggest fundraiser of the year is set for Saturday, March 4 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 disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.

            Connie Oetken, director of development, is encouraging individuals and businesses to get involved as a show of support for Sunflower’s clients.

            “We are seeking sponsorships, and collecting items for our live and silent auctions,” Oetken said. “Donors can be assured that every dollar raised goes directly to services and adaptive equipment for people with disabilities.

“Our fundraisers are increasingly important because of local and state budget cuts,” she added. “The funds are dwindling but the needs are growing. Tax revenues cannot cover the increasing costs.”

Sunflower staff members have sent invitations to past Gala participants and hope to see a lot of new faces this year too.

            “We appreciate all those who have attended in the past and ask them to encourage their families and friends to join us for a great evening,” Oetken commented. “Anyone who has a history with the Gala will tell you how gratifying it is to support our neighbors with disabilities and delays.”

            Cost of a seat at a Gala table is $100. This donation includes the beef tenderloin dinner with all the trimmings, wine at 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.

Auctioneer Mike Niedens will showcase the live-auction items.

            For the first time, a deejay, Tony Vargas, will help Emcee Scott Donovan entertain the crowd.

            “Mike and Scott have always been invaluable to our Gala,” Oetken said. “And we welcome Tony to this great team.”

            Anyone who wants to attend the Gala, and/or donate time, money or auction items is encouraged to contact Oetken by calling 620-792-1325.