Thousands of dollars were raised Saturday night as more than 100 people attended the third annual Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties benefit barbecue dinner.

The event was held at Loma Linda Park in Rockett.

The event was presented by Wal-Mart Supercenter of Midlothian, Waxahachie Newspapers Inc., Holcim, Gerdau Ameristeel and TXI.

The meeting kicked off with a meet and greet period at 6 p.m. while people browsed through the silent auction items to the sounds of Wade Hatton and the Texas Hat Band.

Words of welcome and thanks were given by Meals-on-Wheels executive director Vinsen Faris and Amy Jackson, director of development for Meals on Wheels.

“It is so great to have a large representation of our Meals on Wheels family out here tonight,” Faris said. “Our Meals-on-Wheels volunteers drove 160,000 miles last year delivering meals and, last week, almost 700 meals were served.”

The new Ellis County volunteer coordinator of scheduling, Shanna Dunn and husband, Craig, were also on hand at the event.

“We’ve lived in Waxahachie for four years and the Meals-on-Wheels office really caught my attention and then I heard from my sister, who serves on the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, that a position was open and I’ve always had a heart to serve people. I’ve only been in the office since September but I really love it,” Dunn said.

County Commissioner Dennis Robinson also had complimentary words to share with the group.

“Because of your hard work, you have made Ellis County a better place to live,” said Robinson, who then delivered a proclamation to the Meals-on-Wheels organization on behalf of the Ellis County Commissioners Court.

TXI representative Maurice Osborne announced to the group that the company has committed two acres near Railport, located near the Johnson/Ellis County line.

“Meals-on-Wheels has had a significant impact in the Johnson-Ellis County area,” Osborne said. “It’s a tough job running an organization of volunteers.”

Commissioner Heath Sims served as the auctioneer during the live auction, in which such prizes as wine classes at Tony’s Wine Warehouse, Dalla; a 22 piece set of Nutri-Stahl Stainless Cookery, which included personal cooking lessons from the “Greek Gormet” chef, Arthur Nahatis, if the item sold for $1,200; and a mountain getaway at Angel Fire, N.M.; a private tour of the state Capitol and lunch for six with state Rep. Jim Pitts.

Sponsors included Enlightened Technology; Cindy Ermatinger, attorney at law; HILCO Electric Cooperative; Housewarmer, Paul Baucum; Jefferson Bank; Betsy Patterson; Red Oak Health and Rehab; Reynolds Restorations; Roach Waste Company; Bob and Susan Sokoll; Brad and Lorinda Yates; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, and Sampson LLP; AAA Bail Bond Service; Dr. and Mrs. Stan Parker; Chris and Karen Cox; College Street Printing; Dart Container; Ennis Regional Medical Center; Hilltop Travel Trailers; McDonald Construction; state Rep. Jim Pitts; Mr and Mrs. Daryl Schliep; Dr. and Mrs. Brett Thacker; Thornhill Auto Group; Victron Energy; and WaterKleen.

Special thanks go to Andrews Distributing, Commissioners Heath Sims and Dennis Robinson, city of Waxahachie, KBEC Radio, KTFW Radio, Target Distribution, Waxahachie and Midlothian Chambers of Commerce and to all donors, volunteers and friends.

For further information about Johnson-Ellis County Meals on Wheels, call 817-558-2840.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com