It was a high seas adventure this past weekend in Ennis as La Galleria hosted the annual Lights of Ennis fund-raiser.
The event was a pirate-themed extravaganza with guests representing the swashbuckling tyrants through the decades. Best costume has not yet been decided as a mystery committee will be judging photos from the event in an upcoming meeting. If anyone has photos that they would like to have in the running, drop them by La Galleria for corkboard display and judging.
Event organizers promised a fun-filled evening and they did not disappoint as former TV sportscaster Scott Murray entertained the boisterous crowd during his duty as master of ceremonies. Murray pulled double duty and acted as the auctioneer for the live auction as well, which Light organizer Harriett Adams cess.
"We had an amazing night and we thank Bob and Isabelle Tant for allowing us to use La Galleria as the location for our gala. People were also very generous in their bidding and I am pleased at how well things went," Adams said.
Some of the top sellers were:
o Dinner for six with local chefs John Mah and Jess Haupt, which was purchased for $2,100 by Beverly and Jim Grant, Jan and Butch McLelland, and Angie and Dennis Juenemann.
o A Dallas Cowboys helmet autographed by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, which was purchased for $1,500 by Dr. Kevin Williams.
o A fish fry by Mike Riley, assisted by former police chief Dale Holt, which was purchased for $900 by Terri and Joe Barton.
o A wine tasting at the historic Raphael house was purchased for $1,500 by Raymond Caldwell and Don Young.
o A spotted Jenny donkey and her 2-week old, solid white Jack, which was purchased for $600 by Barbara Platt.
"I’d really like to thank Jim and Beverly Grant for delivering the donkeys to Waxahachie the day after the auction. It takes a lot of effort to load the donkeys and have them available to be seen before the event and then to make sure they are delivered to the highest bidder and I appreciate their efforts on behalf of the Lights of Ennis organization," Adams said.
New to contribute to this year’s event this were $5,000 corporate sponsors Suez Energy, Walgreen’s and Don Ingram of Dallas. Also, new $1,000 sponsors this year were, H-E-B, Ennis Regional Medical Center and Palace Theatre of Corsicana.
"We have always had incredible support from the local businesses and citizens, but this year with the help of Terri and Joe Barton soliciting on our behalf, we started out at a level higher than we have been able to before and I would like to thank them and all our sponsors for their tremendous support. I deeply appreciate the efforts of so many to help the Lights of Ennis organization continue from year to year. Certain individuals and businesses have been there for us eight years in a row and that is why I want to leave the sponsor banners hanging at La Galleria. I hope everyone that goes by for lunch or for dinner on Friday or Saturday nights will go by to see the names, of course there are others who provided auction packages and bought auction packages in addition to these donations," Adams said.
The final total of the evening is not known as organizers are busy sending out auction packages and tying up loose ends but the preliminary results look promising.
"We had a good year, but we will know more in the upcoming weeks after all the auction items have been delivered to the winning party and all the bills are received and paid. Our goal every year is to raise enough funds to maintain what we’ve done in the past and hopefully add more buildings to the area that are lighted during the holiday season. We are hoping to add more lights in the Pierce Park area and include more businesses that are just outside of the historic downtown area," Adams said.
The task of adding lighting to the businesses next to the historic downtown area becomes challenging when facing large corporations headquartered elsewhere but Adams says she is hopeful that this will be the year for change.
"It is always tough when dealing with larger corporations because the person that makes the decision is not local and does not fully understand what the organization means to the community, but I keep hoping with each holiday season that this year we will add them to the list when they understand the positive community PR they will create for themselves at very little cost," she said.
As an added convenience for businesses or companies that would like to take part in the Lights of Ennis, the Ennis Journal will be accepting names of individuals or companies that specialize in hanging holiday lighting to match a potential client with a list of possible companies. To have your business added to the list, call the Ennis Journal office at (972)-872-9565.
E-mail Candie at firstname.lastname@example.org