NORTH WEBSTER — When it matters communities bond together to keep what they love, and North Webster is no exception. The giant turnout for the 10th Annual Heart of the Community Dinner and Auction on Oct. 6, reminded residents of the small town how grateful they all are for their community center.
All proceeds from the event will be funneled back into the community center that gives so much, which can be seen by the constant flow of visitors coming through the doors on a regular basis.
Dennis Wagoner shared some nice words and memories about Jon Sroufe, a founder of North Webster Community Center who died in September. As a tribute to Sroufe, Hahn and Associates Auctioneer Brian Wuthrich called a “paddle raise” and asked those who’d like to donate $50 or more to repair the community center’s roof to raise their paddles.
“The event is a great night for citizens of North Webster to have fun and support the community center, which receives no taxes and relies on donations,” commented Anita Wagoner, a passionate volunteer. “This building has the library, the YMCA, the senior center. This event is a way to keep all of that here.”
Following the live auction were the name drawings for winners, including the name of the grand prize winner who could choose between three prizes to take home.
As Wuthrich called out the name “Brian,” a few men raised their hands which prompted him to call the winner’s last name, “VanLaeken.” To everyone’s surprise, a young girl was led to the stage by a laughing mother.
Brynn VanLaeken was announced as the grand prize winner and properly ended the night with lighthearted astonishment and chuckles from everyone in attendance.
VanLaeken chose to take home $12,000, which will go into a college fund that already has a nice start due to her past few wins in the Mermaid Fest’s Cutie Parade.