by Madison V. Fisler
Dec. 3, 2013. On Saturday, Dec. 7, WAMY Community Action will host their second annual Winter Gala at the Foscoe Grandfather Community Center, part of the Grandfather Campground.
The free event will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature a lunch provided by Farm Cafe, a live auction led by Jenny Miller of Blowing Rock and client testimonials to explain what WAMY does for the community.
“This is a free event and it is open to anybody,” said Melissa Soto, executive director of the Watauga WAMY Office.
“We just ask that people please RSVP so we know how much food to have.”
To RSVP for the event, click here.
The live auction will include items that were locally donated, and will be auctioned off to benefit WAMY’s many programs.
Items included in the auction include handmade quilts, baskets (gardening, wine, Italian, Family Game Night, pets, etc.), tickets to several area attractions and much more.
“Our total goal this year is $5,000 including table sponsors, and so far we have four of those: High Country Women’s Fund, Appalachian Women’s Fund, Sterling Company Real Estate and LifeStore. We are asking corporations and civic groups to sponsor a table to help us reach our goal. Anyone interested can give us a call and we will get them started,” Soto said.
Last year, the inaugural event was much smaller and raised close to $2,000. WAMY has high hopes that the second annual event will be even bigger.
“We would love the community to come out and support us,” Soto said. “We are constantly amazed that we have been around for 50 years and some people still don’t know who we are. Our story is so much more powerful and meaningful coming from our clients with their own testimonials, so we hope the community will come out, learn about us and help support us.”
In 1964 twelve concerned citizens formed a steering committee to seek help in the struggle against poverty in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties. They applied for assistance from the NC Fund and were approved as one of the seven original project areas to receive funding. W.A.M.Y. was chartered as a private 501-c3 nonprofit agency in 1964 through Economic Opportunity Act, in conjunction with President Johnson’s War on Poverty, and with assistance from the NC Fund and Office of Economic Opportunity.
W.A.M.Y.’s founding mission is “to promote individual and family self-sufficiency in order to alleviate poverty at the root level and to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties.”. WAMY currently assists those in need through their many programs, including Avery YO!, ComfortPros, financial literacy, gardening programs, micro loan programs, self sufficiency programs and weatherization programs including H.A.R.R.P.
“We have never had a signature fundraising event,” said Soto. “But we hope that the Winter Gala will continue to grow each year and become our largest fundraiser of the year.”