December 18, 2014

Area fireworks group plans fundraising events

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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AuGRES — The Arenac County Celebration Fund (ACCF) has taken over fundraising duties for the annual fireworks display in AuGres, and has planned a series of events to bring in the revenue needed to send the rockets flying on June 30.

Sheree Wiltse said the new group consists primarily of AuGres Chamber of Commerce members, who took over from a few local residents last year. She said the group is trying to raise $10,000 for this year’s events.

The first event takes place on April 26 at the AuGres Knights of Columbus Hall, and is a quarter auction. Wiltse explained there would be four levels of prize values that are being donated: $10, $20, $30, and $40. Under the auction rules, a person could win these for 25 cents, 50 cents, 75 cents, or $1, respectively.

“”At the beginning of the evening you check out a paddle with a number on it, and when an item comes up you want to bid on, you put the quarters in the jar on the table and raise your paddle,” Wiltse said. “We start drawing numbers until we match the number on a paddle.”

Effectively a combination of a raffle and an auction, Wiltse said among the prizes that have been donated so far include a basket of food items, clothing, a Mary Kay basket, and wine. That will take place at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. She added a late lunch would also be served.

The next event takes place on June 13, and will be a chicken dinner and auction at Dunleavy’s Eatery & Pub in AuGres. Wiltse said a similar event was held last year, and raised just under $6,000, so she hopes to repeat that success.

No items for the auction have been donated yet, but Wiltse said she intends on putting more time into it after the quarter auction is complete.

The dinner will run from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., with the auction beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The final fundraising event the ACCF has lined up is a gun and crossbow raffle. The group will be selling raffle tickets at $5 each, or three for $10, in area businesses and at the other two fundraising events. On June 30, the day of the fireworks celebration, the winning tickets will be chosen.

Wiltse said she did not have a location secured for the event, but there are two major options.

“I’m trying to get permission to hold it at the DNR’s state docks, but I haven’t heard back yet,” Wiltse said. “The worst case is we hold it at the pavilion (in AuGres), since we need electricity and can’t think of anywhere else.”

Wiltse expects to see vendors and a band playing throughout the day on June 30, with the raffle occurring in the afternoon.

Anyone interested in helping at an event, donating an auction item, or selling raffle tickets can contact Wiltse via email at sheree@chartermi.net or by phone at home at 876-7898.

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