Bid cards were waving furiously in the air as Item 935 was introduced by Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center Director Bob Patterson. A total of 44 bidders were demanding to be heard for this one item at the Flavors of Our Heritage: 2008 Heritage Happening Saturday night.
When the furor settled, all 44 bidders had paid $200 for a tank of gas.
Item 935 was a donation to help the Heritage Center help area schools. As Patterson explained, many of the schools who bring their students to the center on field trips were getting hit hard with gasoline prices and cutting way back on their field trips. With some money earmarked for these educational trips, the center would be able to help the schools and themselves as well.
The whole Heritage Happening evening was an exercise in generosity. Donations are still being counted, but the Live Auction alone brought in more than $54,000 for the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center.
And, while needed funds were certainly the order of the evening, it was also a time to celebrate how far the dream has come, and, how hard the volunteers, board, Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center Guild and GSMHC Board of Directors work -- not only on the gala, but all year long.
Another special component of the evening was the unveiling of the Guild cookbook, “Flavors of our Heritage,” which will continue to be on sale at the center for $10, while supplies last.
Haywood Harris was emcee for the evening, with comments being made by Patterson, Board of Directors President Richard Way and Guild President Diane Headrick. Dinner was catered in the big white tent by Miss Lily’s Catering.