The United Way of Hendry and Glades Counties held a “Spring Into Spring” dinner and dance fundraiser on Saturday April 29. The gala consisted of a beautiful dinner, silent and live auctions, fundraising games, a half and half drawing, and live entertainment by the Caloosa Hatchet Band.
The Caloosa Hatchet Band (Charles Chapman, Joel Conner, Jesse Kroll and Jimmy Williams) entertained everyone upon entry and during cocktails while people mingled and placed their bids on items featured in the silent auction.
Hendry County School Superintendent, Paul Puletti, was the Master of Ceremonies and he kicked off the evening by introducing, Mayor of LaBelle, David Lyons who led the room in a prayer of blessing over the food, the town, United Way, and all of the people who have contributed their time, funds, and hard work toward the evening’s success.
After a lovely prime rib dinner Tim Haley and Hendry/Glades United Way Manager, Lisa Sands, led everyone who entered to win a fire pit with matching Adirondack chairs in the “heads or tails” game; this had the entire room filled with laughter.
Next, each table was adorned with framed written testimonies from individuals in the community whose lives have been enriched by the efforts of the United Way and some of the tables elected a spokesperson to read these testimonies aloud.
The floor was then handed over to Dr. Joe Pepe from the Department of Health, the auctioneer, who conducted the live auction of donated items including an oil painting titled “Glades Sundown” by artist Tracy Langford, a “Chocolate Strawberry Explosion Cake” made by Margaret White, an Everglades City Weekend Package, a Hoodwink Fishing Excursion, and a day with Hendry County’s Sheriff Steve Whidden.
Lee Conwell then entertained the audience with some comedy and song while people scurried to put in their final bids on the silent auction items.
After the silent auctions were all closed, the United Way President, Cliff Smith, Tommy Perry, Campaign Chair; President, Johnson-Prewitt expressed their gratitude for all of the generosity of the donors and the staff and volunteers who have tirelessly worked countless hours to help the United Way to assist the 1,126 Hendry/Glades residents who have called United Way 211 seeking assistance and the 23,260 people who have visited the Hendry/Glades United Way houses.
By the evening’s end the United Way met their 2016-2017 Campaign Goal with a total of $319,150.00. All of the money raised is used to fund agencies that provide direct client services in Hendry and Glades Counties.
The United Way would also like to thank all of those who donated goods and/or services for the silent auction including:
Marianne Lorini, Mary Smalley, Oakbrook of LaBelle, Short Cakes Bakery, Heath and White’s Furniture, Hope Healthcare Services, Tom and Julie Boardman, Area Agency on Aging, Dave Kelly Consulting, Healthy Families, Parrish Family Chiroractic, Terri Lazar, Advanced Auto Parts, K&M Drugs, Sears Hometown, Fish Eating Creek, Ron and Tuesday Tritt, Ellen Sheppard, Caloosa Humane Society, Paul Carlisle, Matt Miller Tractors, Vickie Coley, Everglades Farm Equipment, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Dr. Shipley, First Bank of Clewiston, Family Eye Care, Savage 4X4, Firehouse Community Theatre, Gatorama, Joe Hosick, The Ranch Concert Hall, The Veranda, Dish Depot, Mike and Maureen Jordan, Rock Enterprises, US Sugar Corp., Badcock Furniture, and several anonymous donors.