OVILLA – This year’s Ovilla Service League annual dinner and auction will be held Feb. 20 with the proceeds going to the Ovilla Police Department. 

Each year, the service league rotates the monies between the city’s police and fire departments.

“The service league at one time had two benefits a year,” Police Chief Mike Moon said. “That turned into a lot of work so now they have one a year.”

Fundraisers have been held every year since the league's inception with $6,000 raised last year for the fire department, said Pat McDowell, service league senior president.

“Of course, we don’t know how much money will be raised,” Moon said. “There are several things we need to try to get with the money from the benefit, but the No. 1 thing on the list is replacing laptop computers.”

With nine officers and one clerk working at the police department, Moon said, “The police department uses the funds from the service league benefit to buy equipment that we may not have the money in our budget to buy. 

“In the past, the police department has purchased Tazers, laptop computers, less-than-lethal shotguns, painted police cars, protective vests, a patrol rifle,” he said. “Thanks to the service league, we are one of the few small departments that issues the officers their service pistols. We also spend a portion of that money on our National Night Out, which is a way we can give back to the community that gives to us.”

Moon said that no matter what amount is given, the department is always grateful for any amount received.

“Every little bit helps in a small department like ours,” he said.

The dinner will be catered by Bubba Q Bar B Que of Red Oak, with homemade desserts furnished by the service league members. The event also will feature silent and live auctions with items as diverse as home decor to a seven-night stay on St John Island in the Virgin Islands.

“There is also a cakewalk, which is a big hit with the kids,” McDowell said.

Mayor Bill Turner said the service league is a “tremendous asset to the city” and has been for many years.  

“They help the police and fire departments purchase things that are not in the budget,” he said.

Organized in the spring of 1973 by a group of Ovilla women, the service league met in a resident’s home to discuss ways to assist the community.

“They agreed to conduct fundraisers and other projects in aid of Ovilla city goals and thus became the Ovilla Service League,” McDowell said. 

The group’s main objectives included everything from sharing the goals and needs of the community, to assisting the mayor and city council in improving the quality of life for residents and the area, raising funds for the police and fire departments and assisting in the continuing beautification of Ovilla.

Other notable service league projects are quilt and bake sales, support of Heritage Day and the annual cleanup day, the Ovilla community fund and collecting food staples for charitable organizations.

“I cannot say enough about how grateful we are for the ladies of the service league,” Moon said. “I really don’t know what this city and this police department would do without them and I hope we never have to find out. 

“I would like to invite everyone out to the benefit,” he said. “It is great community fun. Come out and socialize with your neighbors, the police department and the kind ladies of the service league, all while giving to a very worthy cause.” 

Tickets are available at Ovilla City Hall. For more information, call 972-617-3320 or 972-617-3029.