HANNIBAL | The 115 people arriving at the Rialto Banquet Hall for the YMCA of Hannibal Vegas Nights dinner auction on Friday, Jan. 10, were glad the rain had not turned to sleet and snow, as was forecast for later that night.
This was the local YMCA's first dinner and auction fundraiser, according to Kara Viorel, leader of the Y's Strong Community Campaign. Previously, she said, “we just had a raffle at the front desk” to raise money.
Viorel, a YMCA staff member, explained the money raised at the dinner auction will help fund the Y's financial assistance program for people of all ages, which has a campaign goal of $72,000. “The purpose of the assistance program is to ensure nobody is turned away from the YMCA with the inability to pay.”
The program helps children attend Y summer camp, and this pays for 20 percent of the campers, she said. It provides scholarships for youth sports. It also is for adults. Anyone seeking this financial assistance may apply at the YMCA.
YMCA CEO Eric Abts was pleased with the size of the crowd at the dinner auction, explaining “we are $7,000 away from our goal (of $72,000) and hope to surpass that tonight. I'm very happy with the more than 100” people attending.
Abts also expressed gratitude to the YMCA board of directors, the volunteers and especially the committee members who planned the fundraiser: Courtney Baries, Kara Viorel, Becca Immegart, Regina Hall and Crystal Freeman.
Baries suggested having a dinner and auction, Abts told the crowd.
Baries later explained she had helped with similar fundraisers, such as at Holy Family Church, so she knew, “They are really good fundraisers.”
A silent auction ended just before dinner was served, and a live auction was scheduled for later in the evening, with Austin Kelly as auctioneer.
While the people visited and examined the silent auction items, they were entertained by Evie Rodenbaugh, who played a variety of popular songs on her guitar.
See photo gallery for more pictures of the dinner and auction.