Elvis might not be in the building, but Ginger Goering hints that he could show up at the annual South Wind Hospice benefit auction on Nov. 1. He would be right at home: the theme is Rock & Roll for Hospice.
The event is always fun, said Goering, who is the executive director for the multi-county hospice, but this year, they're adding some extra elements. The dinner entrée is prime rib. Students from Pratt Community College music department will provide entertainment, and there will be photo sessions.
A new addition in 2012 was a table of items from the South Wind Hospice Thrift Shop, to be sold by both silent and live auction. It was well received, and will return again.
"We're going back to the '50s, '60s and '70s," Goering said.
She, the board of directors and the staff have reason to celebrate. After three and a half years of "austerity," the hospice is in better financial shape, having put a reorganization process behind them. The organization is sustainable, the way it is structured now.
Fund-raisers such as the auction held during National Palliative Care and Hospice Month and the spring purse auction have always been for the benefit of patients, not for servicing debt or paying routine bills, Goering said.
"Fund raising is used for patients who can't pay," she explained. "We want them to have the best experience in end of life care that they can."
John Hamm will donate his services as auctioneer and Jack Ewing will be master of ceremonies.
Joy Schwartz, community relations and benevolence coordinator, is excited about the auction items. There are lots of pictures — people must be redecorating, she commented. Trips, with destinations to Branson, Mo., a log cabin in Colorado and an overnight stay in Wichita will be on the auction block, along with several golf packages and a couple of gourmet dinners for eight, prepared by talented local cooks.
Some purchases keep on giving — a gallon of ice cream every month, or a pie a month. A $500 tuition waiver at Pratt Community College has a benefit that's even longer term.
Bidders can also compete for an Elvis-inspired cookie jar that looks like a record player from his day.