Auction spotlights local health-care organization

MONROE – The 27th annual Holiday Auction is just around the corner, and organizers are hoping for another successful year to benefit people in need.

The auction, which will benefit the Carolinas HealthCare System’s Hospice of Union and Anson counties, will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Monroe. The Holiday Auction is one of the main fundraisers for hospice, according to Wayne Berg, resource development director for Hospice of Union County, with proceeds going directly toward patient care.

The event was a two-day fundraiser shown live on Time Warner Cable when Berg first became involved in 2003, with whiteboards showing what items were up for auction and people calling in to bid by phone. But that eventually became too costly to continue, and the fundraiser has now evolved into a single-day silent and live auction, which Berg said has worked out for the better.

Auction items are donated from individuals and businesses in the community, with most of the items being auctioned live, Berg said. There will be about 20 to 25 items in the silent auction.

Registration will be from 8 to 9 a.m., and attendees will have a chance to view the items before bidding. Both the live and silent auctions will begin at 9 a.m. The silent auction lasts until 1 p.m., and the live auction will last until all of the items are sold. Last year, the live auction ended at 1:30 p.m.

Berg said there are a lot of great items to bid on and the auction gives attendees a chance to “get their holiday shopping done in one place.”

Some of the items up for bid are a stay in an oceanfront condo, a studio pass to “The Big Show – The John Boy and Billy Radio Show,” a sterling silver cuff bracelet, a one-night stay with breakfast and parking at the Charlotte Marriott City Center, a one-week stay at a beach house in the Outer Banks, tickets to either Discovery Place, Carolina Raptor Center or Lazy 5 Ranch, a golf foursome with carts at Providence Country Club, a Fender electric guitar and a wine tasting for 10 with a one-hour Treehouse Porch rental.

There also will be themed gift baskets available for bidding made by several women a week prior to the auction. Berg said they are currently working on gift basket that will have products that originated in North Carolina.

There also will be an authentic auctioneer from Circle Eight Auction & Realty at the event. Berg said the company donates its time every year to participate in the auction.

Lunch will be provided for $5 and will include a choice between barbecue or hot dogs, chips, coleslaw and drinks to accomodate people who stay for the entire auction.

Hospice of Union County and Hospice of Anson County provide medical, psychological and spiritual support for terminally ill patients and their loved ones. These facilities provide patient care in a variety of settings including the home, hospice centers, the hospital or skilled nursing facilities. Typically, hospice caters to those who have a life expectancy of six months or less.

Families are a focus of the two hospice centers, Berg said, and both centers have services designed to provide families with support and assistance, such as bereavement support programs and healing workshops.

“The best ambassadors are the family members that use hospice,” Berg said, adding that he feels hospice is as much for the family as it is for the patient. There is a lot of emotional stress that comes with hospice and a terminally ill family member, Berg said, and although a lot of people have been touched by hospice, it is a subject many do not like to talk about.

Call 704-292-2130 or visit www.CarolinasHealthCare.org/hospice-of-union-county for more information about the auction or to donate an item. First Baptist Church of Monroe is located at 109 W. Morrow Ave.

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