Make reservations by Friday for "Holiday for Hospice."

South Wind Hospice is opening the holiday season early, with a dinner and auction Saturday evening that are the largest fund-raiser each year for the not-for-profit organization.

"Holiday for Hospice" begins with hors d'oeuvres and drinks, followed by a dinner of turkey and ham and all the trimmings — early in the season before everyone is tired of the menu, Joy Schwartz, community relations coordinator, remarked. Kooks Meats from Greensburg is the caterer.

Schwartz promises a fun evening, great food, merchandise that includes something for everyone and a wide price range, as well as support for a good cause.

At any given time, South Wind Hospice is providing end of life care to 25 to 40 patients in a nine-county service area. Most patients receive care in their homes; however, the Hospice House at 496 Yucca Lane can accommodate 13 patients.

The emphasis is on providing comfort care and pain management, pastoral care if it is wanted, respite for caregivers, and bereavement services for families after the patient's death.

Auction items, donated by area businesses and individuals, include a Kawasaki 4-wheeler, John Deere lawnmower, a weeklong trip to Bonanza, Colo., and several golf packages, close by and farther from home.

Early Christmas shoppers will find pedal cars for the kids, including a little Mercedes, power tools for the guys, prints and paintings for the home, a 22-piece nativity set, and a trip to Kansas City to see the holiday lights.

Three tons of river rock is always a sought-after auction item. Sports fans can bid on tickets or buy Christmas decorations to display their loyalties.

Also popular are several dinners for eight, prepared by great cooks in the community, and gift certificates from area restaurants.

At the end of the evening, the holiday table centerpieces, prepared by The Flower Shoppe, will be auctioned off.

John Hamm will again donate his services as auctioneer, and Jack Ewing will be the master of ceremonies.

Support for the evening, at any level, is always welcome.

"The silent auction is fun, if you can't afford to spend much money," Schwartz commented. "It's fun to try to outbid somebody else. Or you can just purchase a ticket and come out and enjoy the evening."

If you go
Date: Nov. 10
Place: Pratt Area 4-H Center (fairgrounds)
Times: Silent auction at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:45, live auction at 7:30
Reservations: Call 672-7553 by Friday. $25 per person, table of 8 for $175.