TAKE 5: Gala for literacy is a first

Mar. 15, 2014 @ 05:02 AM

This week, we Take 5 with Carolyn Spivey, the director of the Coalition for Families, about the “Anchors Aweigh” Benefit Auction, which takes place Friday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. Spivey, a Sanford native, has served for 22 years at the Coalition. She and Lee County Partnership Director Lyn Hankins have embarked on a joint fundraising gala that promises to be a unique and fun evening.

Why the need for a fundraiser?

Literacy is a common goal of both the Coalition for Families in Lee County and the Lee County Partnership for Children. Your financial support of the Anchors Aweigh Benefit Auction Fundraiser will continue the mission of both agencies, allowing us to expand current services. Each dollar raised will:

• Put a book in the hands of a child who can’t afford to buy one.

• Assist a child care provider in developing lesson plans that will motivate children to become early readers.

• Provide a parent with tools need to ensure their child enters school with all the necessary skills required to succeed.

• Provide family health and wellness activities to reduce health disparities that hinder a child’s ability to learn and grow.

By working jointly on this event, the community will come to appreciate how collaborations take place between organizations and how this collaboration ultimately produces greater value for the community. Such an event will highlight each organization’s goals and mission. With cuts made to public grants and reductions in giving from individuals and foundations, this event will also raise needed funds to supplement program services related to early learning and literacy, both critical to school success.

How does promoting literacy make the community better?

Promoting literacy to preschool children lays the foundation for success in education, in life and in the community. Early literacy strengthens families, prepares children to succeed in school, produces higher graduation rates and results in larger numbers of young adults enrolling in secondary education. Ultimately, early literacy strengthens our community with productive citizens prepared to enter the workforce and showcases our community as a progressive place to live and raise a family. In short, investing in literacy programs is investing in our community’s future.

Acknowledged for his love of Lee County, former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker and his wife, Alisa, are participating and supporting this event in a special way. Dennis has stated, “Alisa and I are delighted to be part of this effort and have volunteered to serve as the honorary chairpersons. Our children are our future, and their future requires that they are properly prepared for the journey of life.”

What can I expect to experience at the Anchors Aweigh Gala?

This will be the first of its kind, novel approach to fundraising for Lee County. More than 200 items will be displayed for auction. A professional benefit auctioneer will serve as master of ceremonies for an evening of fun with dinner, a variety of games designed for chances to win super prizes, silent auctions for unique items and a live auction for distinctive items. All will be offered in an atmosphere of traveling on a cruise ship with music and lots of fun for all and delicious food. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served at the beginning of the evening by some of Lee County’s best chefs, such as Aaron Gaines, Greg Hamm, and Chad and Richard Blackwelder. Chase Goodwin will be cooking BBQ and chicken on site with an assortment of side dishes. Savory, homemade desserts are being prepared by Lee County’s best bakers, such as Faye Schultz, and Lee Senior and Southern Lee’s culinary classes will be your servers for the evening.

What kind of items will be auctioned?

Through numerous games, such as Diving for Diamonds and Pearls, you could win jewelry donated by Southern Jewelry. One of the best items of the evening will be a chance to win a Bahamas cruise for two through a game called Heads and Tails. The last person standing will win this fabulous prize.

Many other items have been packaged together to create a unique gift, such as the Prom Package — complete with hair, makeup, manicure and pedicure for two young ladies, along with two free tux rentals for their dates and a gift certificate for a dinner out before the prom (Thanks to Marcello’s Salon and Spa, Merle Norman, Gown and Tux and Davidson’s Steak House). There’s a spring training baseball package, including a personalized bat by John Lipscomb and baseball instructions from professional baseball pitching coach Dick Such.

There’s a “staycation” package that includes a $50 Piggly Wiggly gift certificate, a backyard grill set, a six-month subscription to The Sanford Herald, two handcrafted Adirondack chairs and a fire pit. We have UNC and N.C. State ticket packages. We have trips, including those to destinations such as Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Myrtle Beach; Reno; and Echota in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have specialty wine and beer packages; paintings by artists such as Lisa Mathis, John Wicker, Jasmine Villalobos and Jerry Miller. We have theater and a dinner package that includes tickets and meals to the see “Cats” at the Temple, Rascal Flatts and Sheryl Crow at Walnut Creek and “Sleeping Beauty” at PNC Auditorium.

Some of the items are very unique. Have you ever wondered what our local jail looked like? You could win a meal with Sheriff Tracy Carter in a jail cell. Anyone needing a dental crown? Dr. Karen Petty is donating one free porcelain crown. Trouble with your home or office computer? NC Computer is donating free on-site IT services. You could win the newest design in kitchen faucets by Moen — a motion-sensitive hands-free faucet. We also have gift certificates to restaurants, printing from All Digital, 10 bags of compost, spa treatments, and much more. Check out our Facebook page, “Anchors Aweigh for Literacy,” to see all the many items that are being donated.

How can I get a ticket?

“ANCHORS AWEIGH!...for Literacy” is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday (March 21) at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center. Purchase a ticket and “sail the oceans blue” with dinner and fun. For ticket information, call (919) 774-8144, ext. 201, or (919) 774-9496. Tickets prices are $35 now but will be $40 at the door. Dress for the evening is cruise ship casual.