The 24th annual “An Evening of Heart and Hope” fundraiser held Saturday night, at the MEC Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, for the Boys and Girls Club of West Central Missouri raised $144,465.21 and presented Sue Heckart the 2014 Pink Flamingo Award.
The event was sponsored by W-K Chevrolet, in Sedalia, and had approximately 400 people in attendance.
The club’s Marketing Public Relations Specialist Matt LaCasse said that approximately 200 volunteers and staff members helped to bring the project into fruition. The club begins planning the event in September and picks up momentum in November.
“Every single volunteer is very important,” LaCasse said. “Without the support of our community and our volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do on a day to day basis.”
This year there were 50 live auction items ranging from original art and pottery to dinners by local chefs, art work from each of the 11 club sites, to even margarita makers and kegerators. The silent auction category also had “Kid’s Corner,” where one could purchase art made by students in the program from various area schools. Auction services were provided by Johnson-Bay, of Sedalia.
One of the highest selling auction piece was a football signed by Mizzou Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel and 30 players, going for $4,000.
A highlight of the evening was the the presentation of the Pink Flamingo Award. Nominees this year were Bob Satnan, communications director for the Sedalia 200 School District, Sarah Nail, speech and theater instructor at State Fair Community College and Heckart, owner of Heckart Funeral Home and Crematory. Nominees are selected based their support and contributions to Sedalia and Pettis County.
Heckart received a standing round of applause as she made her way to the podium to receive the award. Once there she donned the Pink Flamingo hat and spoke to the audience.
Heckart said that everyone should continue to support the efforts of the Boys and Girls Club.
“I’d like to dedicate this honor to my parents,” she said. “I endeavor to uphold their legacy of community service and continue with the tradition of, ‘We care, we share, we love.’”
Later while seated at her table she said she hoped to be a winner but was surprised by the award.
“It’s quite an honor and I’m very humbled by it,” she added. “The other two candidates were very worthy too, they do a lot for the community, I applaud them too.”