Auctioneer and Liberal Mayor Joe Denoyer, center, takes bids on an item during the fundraiser Saturday for the Liberal Area Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence Services while LARC/DVS board member Jack Cooley, right, looks on. Courtesy photos
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
For those wanting to enjoy good food, some jazz and help a good cause, the Liberal Area Rape Crisis/ Domestic Violence Services center’s fundraiser on Saturday evening was the place to be.
The evening consisted of a dinner of roast beef and sides along with silent and live auctions, where donated items, including a a 32-inch TV, a recliner, a subscription to Sirius XM radio and many incidental items like gift cards and gift certificates, were auctioned off.
Lori Hensley, executive director of LARC/DVS, said she couldn’t give exact figures of all that was raised, but said the fundraiser came very close to its goal.
“I would say the silent auction items, we did fairly well and same way with the live auction items – we had a goal set for some of our live auction items but we did not reach those goals,” she explained. “However, we still did really well. I’m not going to say the live auction did better than the silent auction or vice versa because they’re two totally different types of auctions.”
There were more than 100 people who attended the event and stayed throughout the night, Hensley said.
“The board and staff worked really hard on making this work – there’s volunteer hours from staff to do this which is very nice of them to do because we can’t pay for that through our grants (we can’t pay them to do the auction work through the grants) so a lot of hours were volunteered to do that and we appreciate it,” she said.
While Hensley considers the evening a success, she said the center’s board and staff are already looking to next year’s event, having already approved a date and new venue to have it.
“This will set the bar very high for next year’s event, we always want it to be bigger and better,” Hensley said. “We’ve maxed out the location we’re using as far as how well our fundraiser will be, so we’re going to step it up to a different venue and just move forward and try to make and receive more monies.”
Hensley stressed that it’s going to be even more important for next year’s event due to one of the center’s grants being cut from the budget.
“It’s going to be even more important for us to fundraise on a local level. As those monies begin to shrink and shrink, we have to start thinking outside the box of ways to raise funds to not cut any services, which would be the last thing we would do,” Hensley said. “So in order to stay at a level where we can continue all of our services, we’ll need to fundraise harder next year.”
Hensley also expressed deep appreciation to the donors, volunteers and board and staff involved with the event.
“Without donors providing items to the auction, without volunteer hours from our board and staff, this event would never happen and I want to take the opportunity to thank the Liberal community for supporting Liberal Area Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence Services,” she said. “We know we provide a service no one else provides in this community, and we have been so thankful for what the community has come out and done for us.”