Monday, October 22, 2012

Gentlemen of Distinction Wrap Up

When our committee had its first meeting last spring, they thought it would be fun to have a James Bond theme as a way to focus our decorating and music theme for this year's Bill Fleeman Gentlemen of Distinction event. We eventually dropped the more obvious references to 007, but then found out on October 5th, the day of the event, that it was Global James Bond Day! It seemed appropriate, given the cool guys we had on the runway that night. Thanks in part to our sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor, Harps Food Stores, it was one of the best events date!

As usual, the entire day was full of preparations... Fourteen live cypress trees were brought in and created a beautiful backdrop to several areas of the John Q. Hammons Center ball room, gold cording was tied around chairs to add a little sparkle, and centerpieces of bronze calla lilies, magnolia branches and candles were placed on tables to enhance the colors of the room. Buzz Event Planning & Design made everything look beautiful for the evening.

We were thrilled to see one of our most dedicated volunteers receive the annual Bill Fleeman Gentleman of Distinction award from the event's Founding Sponsor, Jeannie Fleeman. Jack Igleburger and his wife, Temple, lead the only Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer support group in the state of Arkansas. Oral, head and neck cancers can leave victims with long-lasting difficulty eating and swallowing, and there are other late-stage effects of radiation to the head that can be disabling and frustrating for patients after their treatments have ended and they have been "cured". Jack is a survivor himself, and has helped dozens of other victims of the disease to get through treatment and learn how to become survivors as well.

When the fashion show sponsored by The Independent got underway, the crowd enjoyed watching our local Gentlemen strut their stuff and share a side of themselves that they probably don't get to show off very often.

Our auctioneer, Richard Clifton, was outstanding, and helped us raise $15,600 on the live auction that night. We'll share photos of the lucky folks who will be enjoying some of the things they purchased in coming months. We expect our favorite will be the daughters of one of our models, Eddie Hight of America's Car-Mart, who will be seeing the band One Direction in concert at Madison Square Garden in December. Word has it that the airfare has already been purchased and the girls are still on cloud nine!

The silent auction was full of amazing items including everything from spa packages to artwork, to sports memorabilia, to concert tickets and even this sweet registered black lab puppy! We were mildly surprised that she did not go home with Gay Prescott, our Director of Development you see giving it some love here.

In total, we raised over $107,000 that night to benefit the patient assistance and community education programs of Hope Cancer Resources. What an amazing testament to the dedication of our supporters, sponsors, and volunteers who worked so hard to make this event happen, and the approximately 400 attendees in the room who believed in what we are doing enough to make gifts and buy auction items.

During the event, we played a video to help attendees who weren't familiar with us before the event understand exactly what impact our programs have on families and individuals in our community. We're sharing it here for you to watch and share. It's a powerful testament to the devastation cancer causes in lives all around us, and to the hope that our services provide.

Thank you so very much to all who helped make the event a success.We can't do what we do without you.

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