Donations are starting to roll in and the board room at the Ennis Chamber of Commerce is stuffed full of items that will be auctioned off at the “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” themed event held on Aug. 18.

For chamber CEO, Patsy Grider, the event is not only the culmination of a few months’ efforts, but the entire year.

“The auction is a very detailed and lengthy program that we are very proud of. We plan and work on it the entire year because it is the biggest fund-raiser for the chamber and the biggest social event of the year. It usually has a large crowd with an evening full of great food, lots of entertainment and a wonderful opportunity to socialize and catch up with friends, so it needs to be special and well organized,” Grider said.

The event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall and the doors will open at 5 p.m. for with the chicken friend steak supper and an open bar from 5:30 - 7 p.m. A cash bar will be held from 7 - 11 p.m. The silent auction will be held from 5 - 9 p.m. and the live auction will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The items that are being auctioned off are donations from local businesses and include trips, jewelry, furniture, sports memorabilia and even children’s toys.

“We try to get a variety of items for people to bid on and the area businesses are always very generous with the items they donate to be auctioned off,” Grider said.

Picking up items and having them dropped off is usually how the chamber collects items but sometimes people donate cash so it is up to the chamber staff to purchase items to be auctioned.

“Individuals sometimes donate cash to the auction and let us use the funds to purchase items we think would could sell and make money from. It is always fun to go shopping, even if you don’t know who the recipient of the gift is,” she said.

The most popular items to go are usually the sports memorabilia and jewelry, but everything ends up being taken home by someone before the end of the evening, which is exactly what the chamber needs to help fund other events throughout the year.

“Some people might not realize that the chamber is actually a non profit organization, but the only way we make money is from our annual fund-raiser and membership dues. We rely on the auction to make sure we have money to help with other community events throughout the year,” she said.

Tickets are still available for the auction and donations are still being accepted. To find out more about the event, contact the chamber office at (972) 878-2625.