Zonta Club members stand behind a large collection of gift baskets auctioned off at a previous Zonta Holiday Auction. CONTRIBUTED

Annual Zonta auction to bring early holiday cheer

Auctions, honors and dinner are on the menu as the Zonta Club of Springfield sets the pace for the 2018 holiday season.

The 15th annual Zonta Club of Springfield Holiday Auction will have live and silent auctions and a raffle for a variety of items, full dinner options and will honor the 2018 Zonta Woman of Distinction at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Courtyard by Marriott ballroom.

The $45 advance ticket deadline has been extended to Sunday, Nov. 4 on the Eventbrite site. Tickets are $55 at the door the night of the event. Proceeds raised go to a variety of charitable causes Zonta supports.

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“It’s a time we look forward to every year,” said Diane Van Auker, Zonta member and publicity committee member. “It evolves every year and we have so much this year.”

An auction highlight will be a tailgating package with a YETI cooler, stadium blanket, even cold beverages and other items.

Another is a chance for six to take a glass-blowing class from local glass artist Doug Frates, as well as spa and getaway packages and other experiences, which will be popular offerings this year.

Another unique item is a wreath with $500 worth of gift cards, along with other gift baskets and items ideal for gift-giving.

Zonta’s mission is to advance the status of women locally and worldwide according to Van Auker, and the Woman of Distinction title goes annually to a local female leader who reflects this.

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The 2018 recipient is McKinley Hall CEO Wendy Doolittle.

“The opiate crisis is still such an issue and Wendy has done so much to deliver resources and make them available. The thing about Springfield is we have great resources that Wendy has helped bring forward significantly such as a women’s recovery program,” said Van Auker.

The evening wouldn’t be complete without dinner, consisting of buffets including a carving station, salad station, potato bar and dessert station. A cash bar will also be available.

Proceeds will go to organizations and service projects such as a scholarship for a non-traditional female student at Clark State Community College; clothing for sexual assault victims; On the Rise Kids; Project Jericho; and Project Woman.

Zonta is always open to others who share these values.

“We hope people who visit will also have an interest in joining us,” Van Auker said.

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