Annual OCCF auction enjoyed by hundreds

EVART — The biggest fundraiser for the Osceola County Community Foundation took place without a hitch to bring in more than $23,000 for the organization.

The annual auction took place at the community building at the Osceola County 4-H FFA Fairgrounds and featured dozens of silent auction prizes as well as live auction items featuring everything from gift baskets to getaways. A select few lucky attendees also won raffle items.

Maria Gonzalez, Fremont Area Community Foundation manager, believes the auction was a success.

"Based on past comments, we knew that the auction tended to run long so we worked hard to make it efficient and still allow people to relax and enjoy themselves," said Gonzalez. "We tried some new things and encouraged people to be a little more interactive. It was an exciting night and we are looking forward to next year."

In addition to the auction fun, Alan Bengry was presented with a Northern Lights award in the business and industry category. Bengry serves the community in a number of ways, including as a member of the Evart Public Schools Board of Education, the DDA Board, the Chemical Bank Board of Directors, as the owner of Holihan Drugs in downtown Evart and more.

The OCCF also was awarded a certificate from the state in honor of the organization's 25 years by Michigan Senator Darwin Booher and Michigan Representatives Joel Johnson and Phil Potvin. Throughout its history, the OCCF has awarded $1.9 million to provide grants and scholarships for residents, students, areas and organizations in Osceola County.

Upon entry to the event, a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres were provided before a buffet dinner and dessert was offered by Pere Marquette Catering.