65 holiday wreaths were auctioned at open house event to support over 50 nonprofits
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) raised more than $16,000 for local charities through a new “Wreaths for a Cause” holiday program. More than 100 guests attended the Dec. 14 open house to celebrate the holidays, enjoy door prizes and participate in a live and silent auction of wreaths – all to benefit area nonprofit organizations.
Similar to IALR’s former “Decorating the Trees for a Cause” program, this year area businesses and organizations created and displayed 65 wreaths in IALR’s atrium in honor of their selected charities to raise funds in the form of votes, or donations. The public visited IALR’s atrium Nov. 29-Dec. 14 to vote for wreaths with a donation. Each of the more than 50 charities represented retained those funds, and the wreath that collected the most money (donated by Goodyear Tire and Rubber to support United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County) received a bonus of $500 at the open house. Two random drawings of all wreaths awarded additional $500 bonus awards to participating charities Danville Pittsylvania County Cancer Association, supported by Computer Bookkeeping & Tax Service, and Caswell Pet Lifeline Rescue, supported by Linden Rose Boutique. All wreaths were then auctioned off, raising more funds for the supported charities.
“Not only was the open house event a festive and fun holiday gathering, but it was truly rewarding to see the generosity of the guests in attendance as they gave toward the many worthwhile causes represented,” said Ellen Bass of IALR. “It was the first year we introduced decorated wreaths as a fresh take on our previous holiday tree program, and it was fulfilling to see it so well received. We thank all of the businesses, organizations and open house attendees who gave their time and resources to help the nonprofits in our communities.”
At the open house, Austin Scher of the Danville Otterbots (and chair of the United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County campaign) served as master of ceremonies, and Rita Smith of River City Auction served as wreath auctioneer. All guests had an opportunity to win door prizes donated from local businesses. The nearly $1,300 in proceeds from the event ticket sales went to the United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County.
“Wreaths for a Cause” sponsors included URW Community Federal Credit Union, an anonymous donor, Commonwealth Home Health Care, Piedmont Infusion Services and Links Coffee House Café. Since IALR began a holiday fundraising program for nonprofits in 2010, more than $135,000 has been raised for charitable causes.