Eagle’s Wings to host live auction fundraiserPublished 9:16pm Thursday, January 24, 2013
Move over Dancing With OUR Stars. Eagle’s Wings has a new way to spend an evening out for a cause: dinner, by Occasions by George, and a live auctioneer rattling off bids for beach weeks and a ride in a 1957 Rolls Royce once owned by a second cousin of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Eagle’s Wings Director Sally Love said Taste of America is a new way to broaden the food pantry’s fundraising efforts, as the event organizers have decided against holding the nonprofit’s one major fundraiser — Dancing With OUR Stars — for a sixth consecutive year. Other events in the mix include a Feb. 17 jazz concert at First Christian Church and a 5K race.
Love said more than 50 items, from gift baskets to gift certificates to three-night getaway have been donated for the cause.
“People in this community are very generous with us and step up when we need them to step up,” Love said, citing the crunch last September, when Eagle’s Wings cupboards were literally bare, as an example.
Eagle’s Wings is different from the average food pantry because it offers a “client’s choice” warehouse, where clients can choose according to their own food preferences.
“It’s better for us because there’s no waste,” Love explained. “It’s better for them because they get what they want.”
Monthly, that means a family of one to three people can get 40 pounds of staples and as much produce as the family will eat. But Love said that monthly returns to the food shelter are rare.
“We just got our statistics for last year,” Love said. “Thirty-eight percent of our clients came only once last year. Out of 1,400 families that came last year, only 4 percent came every month.”
Love said families visit the food pantry when they are truly in need, but that need has risen over the past year.
“We used to run about 80 to 90. We’ve been running about 150 families. Starting this time last year it went up and it’s been pretty consistent all year,” Love said.
“It’s just circumstances, lots of sad stories,” she said. “Here’s a family with two people, he lost his job one month, she lost her job the next. … These people are invisible — the rest of the world does not see or know them.”
It’s through the fundraising efforts that Eagle’s Wings is able to provide for those less fortunate in the community, Love said.
Taste of America will be held Feb. 2 at the Washington Civic Center. A silent auction will be held, starting at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.; live auction at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Eagle’s Wings, 932 W. Third St., Washington, 252-975-1138. Credit cards will be accepted for tickets and auction items.