ROANOKE — Friday evening was festive and fun as the United Way of Gilmer, Lewis and Upshur hosted their annual Elimination Dinner at Stonewall Resort. The gala event was a tremendous success and the multi-county organization’s largest fundraiser of the year.
According to Executive Director Becky Sias, 255 people attended the Roaring 20s themed event this year and 285 Elimination tickets were sold. The evening began with a social hour, followed by dinner in the ballroom, then a host of games to raise money. A silent auction of donated items went on throughout the night, while LJ McCue also auctioned off a host of impressive items, including two electronic smokers.
An especially generous man from Spencer won the bid on the first item then proclaimed, “Sell it again!” That man was Jim Gandee, and while he did not want recognition, he certainly deserves it, as he continued to donate back all the items he won at auction, so they could be sold again to aid the effort. Sias said Gandee and his wife, Tina, actually donated 15 of the prizes used for the live and silent auctions himself, then purchased and gave them back to be sold again. “He is a great supporter of our local United Way and has been very generous for the last four years,” Sias said with appreciation.
The night culminated with the final five ticket holders agreeing to split the $1,000 grand prize pot. Sias said they raised approximately $16,000 at Friday evening’s fundraiser.
Kari Park and Sarah Linger are the local United Way’s co-chairs who helped put on the successful event that will benefit 18 area non-profit agencies: Lewis County FRN, Lewis County FRN’s Pantry, Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County, Stockert Youth and Community Center, Our Neighbor, Gilmer County Senior Center, Upshur County FRN, Hope Inc., Crisis Pregnancy Center, Jackson Memorial Community Association, Buckhannon River Habitat for Humanity, Central WV Community Action, Crosslines, Tri-County Child Exchange & Visitation, Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center, Upshur County Special Olympics and the Foster Grandparent Program.
The United Way of Gilmer, Lewis and Upshur’s next fundraiser will be a Bowl-o-Rama on March 28 at Woody’s Bowling Center in Buckhannon. They are still looking for teams of four if you’d like to participate. To get more information about the local United Way or their events, please email [email protected]
Sias said they did not meet their goal of $75,000 again this year, but emphasized that every dollar counts. The United Way is asking individuals and businesses in the community to please help them to help others. Donations may be mailed to PO Box 44, Weston, WV 26452.