OCCF members gearing up for annual auction

Event to take place May 1

EVART — Community helping community is something the Osceola County Community Foundation strives to achieve each year, and with its upcoming annual auction fundraiser, that goal can be completed.

This year's OCCF Auction will begin with dinner by Pere Marquette Catering at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, in the community building at the Osceola County Fairgrounds. Doors will open at 5 p.m. beginning with a social hour, cash bar, hors d'oeuvres and silent auction browsing and bidding.

The OCCF, which is an affiliate of the Fremont Area Community Foundation, has given about $1.8 million to scholarships and grants that support and enhance residents, students, areas and organizations in Osceola County since its establishment.

"The donors have been gracious over the years, willing to support the foundation," said Larry Emig, the OCCF Director of Community Relations. "I think they've seen the benefits of our partnership and giving back. We've been very blessed to have the opportunity we have and it's a good feeling to know people do care."

Following last year's Pure Michigan theme, this year will feature "Pure Osceola," with prominent features of the county displayed during the event. At the 2013 event, the foundation raised $18,000, which is the minimum goal this year.

"We'd like to raise the same or more than last year," Emig said. "It's always nice to see more donations than what you've previously received."

Businesses or individuals who wish to donate to the live or silent auction still have the opportunity to do so. Thus far, about 80 items will be up for grabs, including golf and ski packages, gift certificates to local businesses, food vouchers, a guided eight-hour fly fishing trip with lunch included, and bed and breakfast getaways. One of the largest items is a trip for two, car included, across Lake Michigan on the U.S.S. Badger, hotel stay and restaurant package.

Tickets are $35 and available at Pere Marquette Catering and the Reed City Chamber office. For more information, call Larry Emig at (231) 832-4880.

"It's a fun evening," Emig said. "The more we grow, the more we can give back to the community."