Woodward, Okla. —
Those interested in an evening of cocktails, hor d'oeuvres, dinner and entertainment are invited to the Woodward Mid-Day AMBUCS 20th annual November Harvest Gala on Nov. 9.
The gala is a party with a purpose as it raises money to help fulfill the organization's mission of creating independence for people with disabilities.
One of the biggest ways the organization, both locally and nationally, helps the disabled to be more independent is through the donation of therapeutic tricycles known as AmTrykes. These specially-designed trikes help provide mobility and enjoyment to individuals who are unable to operate traditional bicycles.
One of the highlights of this year's November Harvest will be the presentation of 2 AmTrykes, according to Event Chair Leona Reeg.
"We're giving away AmTryke therapeutic trikes designed to help improve the individual's mobility if possible," Reeg said. "The 2 we're giving away this time are for adults, the first one we're presenting is for a local high school student, the other is a thearpeutic bicycle to a disabled veteran from the Clinton VA nursing center. Each bike is custom ordered by the recipient's physician so it can be made to fit their needs."
Cindy Colclasure, chapter president of the Mid-Day AMBUCS, said that getting to see someone receive an AmTryke is an inspiring experience as you can see how much the trikes mean to the recipients.
"It is our hope that by experiencing the process that everyone in attendance will feel personally empowered with the knowledge and importance of our valuable service," Colclasure said.
With each AmTryke ranging in price from around $300 to $400 to upwards of $1,200 to $1,400, AMBUCS must hold fundraisers like November Harvest to help pay for the therapeutic tricycles.
Proceeds from the Harvest fundraiser also go to help support other services provided by the Mid-Day AMBUCS, which have included awarding scholarships to local students and community projects such as providing meals to children on weekends.
NOVEMBER HARVEST IN NEW LOCALE
This year's November Harvest will be held at the Woodward Conference Center and the Mid-Day AMBUCS are excited about being in the new venue.
"The first Harvest Gala was done in the (Josie Adams) Cultural Center, and we were only able to have 12 corporate sponsors," Colclasure said. "We've also held it at the Elks Lodge, and the Pioneer Room, and they were great, but this is by far our largest venue. We've gone from 24 to 42 tables due the amount of space the convention center offers, and that's fantastic for our cause."
Local businesses are encouraged to "sponsor" a table, in return for which they receive 8 tickets for the Harvest meal.
EVENT INCLUDES AUCTIONS AND RAFFLES
In addition to the sponsorships, the event will feature both live and silent auctions to raise more money to help fund AMBUCS' charitable services.
"We'll be auctioning the table decorations created by local volunteers to help us raise funds during the live auction," said Colclasure. "Every year we encourage decorators to come up with a theme, we don't put any kind of restrictions on them. There's no limit to what they can create."
The live auction will also feature sports memorabilia autographed by OU and OSU players, gift certificates to local businesses, and a framed print of an oil painting by the late Robert Carver, an artist featured earlier this year in Woodward's own Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.
"The silent auction will consist of items donated from businesses around the community, such as auto detail package, complimentary oil changes, and package deals including a dinner out and free stay in a local hotel room for the evening," Reeg said.
In addition to the auctions, the event will also feature 2 raffle drawings.
"We will be raffling off a 42-inch high definition television purchased from Modern Appliance, as well as a Savage hunting rifle chambered in your choice of caliber, the winner of which need not be present at the time of the drawing," Reeg said. "Between the live auction, the silent auction, and both raffles its going to be a very full evening."
AUCTIONEERS AND MUSICIAN TO PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT
National AMBUCS past president Rick Kerr and auctioneer Ira Smith of Smith & Co Auction & Realty will be once again returning to host the live auction.
"Rick Kerr and Ira Smith provide a lot of the evening's entertainment, just from the way they harmonize," Colclasure said. "They just feed off each other when it comes to conducting the auction. They don't rehearse it; I guess it's just a God-given talent. They're quite entertaining; the crowd always loves them"
Donnie Record, a popular musician from Enid, will also be returning for the second year to provide music for the event.
"Donnie is very diverse in his music talents," Colclasure said. "For our group, he tends to play 60s, 70s, and 80s music."
Reeg also commented on the musical talent, stating "Donnie is a keyboardist and a very versatile musician, I've heard him play everything from 50s music to present. It's really nice dinner music."
For more information about AMBUCS, AmTrykes or to purchase tickets for the November Harvest fundraiser, contact Cindy Colclasure at 254-8544 or Leona Reeg at 256-7705. For raffle tickets contact Reeg.