Giving from the heart

EVART - An enthusiastic crowd gave enthusiastically from the heart last Thursday evening, as the Osceola County Community Foundation held its annual auction raising funds in support of Foundation activities.

A large crowd - almost 180 people - turned out at the Osceola 4-H FFA Fairgrounds Community Building in Evart to feast, fellowship and fund-raise both through the popular silent auction and by bidding in the exciting live auction mastered, as in years past, by auctioneer Andy Lattimore.

Despite the fact that things are tight all over, folks attending the fund raiser opened their hearts and pocketbooks helping fill Foundation administrative coffers.

“We were able to raise just over $20,000,” reported OCCF President Alan Bengry. “This was a very good auction. Attendance was near a record high. An unofficial count had us at 177 people attending and our record is at 180. This was one of the largest crowds we’ve had.

“We are very grateful for the support people continue to show the Foundation.

“There was great attendance and a lot of enthusiastic bidding.

“The foundation board is very pleased with the continuing support our county residents continue to show for what we do.”

Portions of the money raised at the annual auction goes toward covering administrative expenses. The remainder is tucked into the general fund to be used in support of grant and scholarship funding in Osceola County.

Also during the auction, two promoters of the Foundation and county were honored for their continuing support.

The two, Avis Gerber and Steve Anderson, were presented with the Chief Osceola Award as a token of the OCCF board’s appreciation for their service to the Osceola community.

Gerber’s donation provided funding for the construction of a new OCCF as part of the Reed City Depot complex. Bengry said of Gerber “ a result of her generosity, OCCF now has a place to greet visitors, provide information, conduct business and, most importantly, a place to call home.”

Steve Anderson was saluted as a consistent supporter and donor to OCCF. The Geraldine Anderson Scholarship Fund was established in his mother’s honor in 2004, and annual scholarships have been awarded to Reed City High School graduates since that time.

Anderson also established the Olivia Fund in 2005 which reaches out to the poor and underprivileged in Osceola County.

Earlier this year, the Chief Osceola Award was presented to Elizabeth (Libby) Cherin, retired president and CEO of Fremont Area Community Foundation (FACF), a position she held for 17 years.