Rivers of fun

Little River Watershed Gala full of surprises, information

Just when “Vickie, Harriett and Donna” thought they had stolen the show, in swooped a black bear that blew everyone out of the water.

The Winter gala for Little River Watershed was full of surprises!

Held at the elegant Preservation Plaza, guests were greeted with a chance to look and bid on silent auction items, peruse the offerings for the live auction and fill their plates with delicious hor d’oeuvres. As time for the silent auction drew to a close, bidders made their final choices and winners were announced by Kathy Wilbanks and Cathy Rhodes. Before the live auction began, LRWA president Ernie Blankenship gave opening remarks and treasurer Kim Raia, Executive Director Cathy Rhodes and vice president Bob Booker made presentations on accomplishments and projects of the group.

The LRWA is a grassroots, non-profit with a mission of protecting, preserving and enhancing the Little River and its tributaries. The winter gala raises funds for the organizations educational activities and programs.

Corporate sponsors for the gala were Blount Memorial Hospital and Wal-Mart.

As the live auction got underway, “Donna, Harriett and Vickie” strolled in to play “Vanna” for auctioneer Steve Samples. The Vanna girls were in reality Larry Dicus, Dan Lawson and John Wilbank, and they caused quite a stir as they showed off items ready to be auctioned.

In the end, with $4,430 already raised through the live auction and silent auction totals still being tallied, a big black bear ambled in and stole the show.

The bear was a giant stuffed black bear donated by Great Smoky Mountain Association and Terry Maddox. The last item auctioned, it brought in $1,700 to raise the live auction total to more than $6,000.

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