This year’s Lions Club auction, held on Friday, April 22, raised more money than in several years, raising nearly $23,000 for the summer prom program of Gainesville and other local projects supported by the Gainesville Lions Club. The annual fundraising total, now in its 35th year, was approximately $3,500 more than the $19,500 raised last year.
Over the past few years, the auction has raised these amounts: nearly $22,000 in 2020; $21,500 in 2019; over $21,000 in 2018; $20,000 in 2017 and $19,000 in 2016.
The event included a chili dinner and a silent auction as well as a live auction, both featuring a wide variety of goods and services offered by area merchants and individuals.
Organizers say there have been a lot of cash donations this year.
Two notable items were cinnamon rolls and braided bread donated by Melinda Abraham and fried pies and strawberry cheesecake donated by Denise Crisp. Together, the baked goods brought in a total of nearly $2,500.
This year’s athlete raffle was also a success, with Lions Club members selling all 300 tickets for $50 each. The randomly drawn winners got to choose from several big ticket items including a trailer, 15 different guns, a Blackstone hot plate, trailer, kayak, hunting blind and other items.
The Lions Club still donates a large portion of event proceeds to the Summer Prom program, which is now operated by Gainesville Schools. The rest is divided among various other community projects, including various youth camps, sending local students to the state boys and girls, providing glasses to students and adults in need, supporting projects of the Interagency advice such as back-to-school fair, holiday food fundraising. baskets and contributing to Project Graduations, the Share the Harvest Venison Charitable Project, Hootin an Hollarin and the Ozark County Toy Drive. The Lions Club also offers a Lions Club/HT Harlin Memorial Scholarship each year to a graduate of Gainesville High School.
Organizers expressed their thanks to those who provided auction items and to those who turned out to buy them.