MARSHALL -?Mild winter or not, people can always use a break and spend some time relaxing in the Florida sunshine sipping a fruity drink - all while supporting a good cause.
The annual Prairie Home Hospice Charity Ball and Auction will be Saturday, April 14, at the Marshall Country Club. This year's theme takes partiers to the Key West - "Margaritaville."
Roberta Wyatt, a Prairie Home Hospice volunteer, said April is a good time to have the fundraiser because "a lot of activities have ended and people have more time."
The social hour/silent auction will start at 5 p.m. and the buffet dinner will be at 7 p.m. followed by the live auction and dance with music provided by Music To Go. Early bird tickets are $45 per person through March. Tickets are $55 per person after March 31. Tickets are available at the Prairie Home Hospice office, Hy-Vee or County Fair. A limited number of reserved tables are available and must be purchased at the Prairie Home Hospice office. Call 507-537-9247 for more information.
Participants can try for an actual trip to Key West thanks to the generosity of Randy and Janel Wartner of Marshall, said Wyatt. One of the auction items is a week's stay at their house in Key West.
"It sleeps up to nine," she said. "(The offer) was completely unsolicited. The Wartners always come to the ball and bid on the auction items. They are very generous."
Wyatt said the auction items are wide ranging, from a John Deere kid's tractor to two tickets to see the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"Something for everyone," she said.
There are also themed auction items such as tea towels that are embroidered by Kathy Eveslage with margaritas and other cocktails.
"The donors are very thoughtful of what they're doing," Wyatt said.
Wyatt said the decorations will lean heavily toward palm trees and coconuts and have a Jimmy Buffet vibe, which is a "casual, relaxed atmosphere."
The decorations and props are stored in the Prairie Hospice Home basement and Quist Moving has volunteered its trucks and personnel to help move the donated items and decorations to the country club.
Deb Herrmann from Marshall High School will coordinate MHS students to drive golf carts, bringing guests from the parking lot to the club.
Music will be provided by Music To Go.
"Keith Petermeier will play all the favorites - including Jimmy Buffet songs," Wyatt said.
The food will also follow the theme, she said.
"Seafood, cheeseburgers after Buffet's song, 'Cheeseburger in Paradise.' Tara at the Country Club always does a good job. There will be a chef-served buffet with a no-host bar," she said.
Wyatt said Prairie Home Hospice will sell only about 260 tickets, so people should buy their tickets as soon as possible. Also, after March 31, the price goes up $10 to $55. Still, she said, that's a good deal for an evening's entertainment.
The proceeds go to Prairie Home Hospice's general fund to help bridge any gap there might be in insurance to pay for services.
"By knowing that it is all paid for, people can be present with their loved one," Wyatt said. "Prairie Home Hospice is there to help with pain management and to provide a dignified, graceful way to pass on."