Jewels and sequins were sparkling amongst the casually clad at WAMY Community Action’s inaugural “Denim and Diamonds” event, raising funds to help fight poverty in the High Country. Approximately 250 people were in attendance for the ticketed dinner and live auction held Thursday, May 19, at The Mill at Rock Creek in Boone.
Renowned local auctioneer Jesse Miller, of First Security Insurance, drummed up bids for adventure packages, Paul McCartney concert tickets, golf and dining, artwork and vacations — plus donations towards WAMY programs.
Dinner and drinks, provided by Gadabouts Catering and Lost Province Brewing Company, were followed by dancing to music by DJ Karl of Mohr Fun Entertainment.
“The generosity of our sponsors and event attendees was amazing,” said Melissa Soto, executive director of WAMY. “The proceeds from the event exceeded our expectations and provided a strong start to send low-income children to summer camp and to fund necessary home repairs for some of those living in poverty within our community.”
Soto thanked event sponsors including the “Hope Diamond” level contributor, The Dillon Family Foundation and “Blue Diamond” sponsors Rick and Susan Geldmeier.
“It was wonderful to gather face-to-face and celebrate the work of WAMY,” Soto added. The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially devastating for the vulnerable low-income population, and WAMY more than doubled the number of individuals served in 2020-2021 over the previous year.
Cynthia Dillon, representing The Dillon Family Foundation, highlighted some of the needs addressed by WAMY. “Watauga County is the third most impoverished county in the state, and 37% of school children in our four-county area are food deficit,” she said.
WAMY youth development programs including after school activities and the Mountain Adventures summer day camp — which will serve over 200 children this summer — enable parents to remain in the workforce while kids experience social enrichment and healthy care.
Housing programs by WAMY provide urgent home repairs, weatherization and heat source improvements that help make client homes safer, more energy efficient and affordable.
“Sometimes, looking at the news, we can feel hopeless. Giving to make a difference in our community is a way to bring back hope,” Dillon said. “Each donation provides a ripple effect, touching lives and making an impact from one community member to another.”
About W.A.M.Y. Community Action
Established in 1964, W.A.M.Y. (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey) is a Community Action Agency and was the first human-service non-profit to come to the High Country’s four-county area. WAMY’s mission is to partner with families and communities to provide the disadvantaged the support they need to become self-sufficient. WAMY conducts a community needs assessment every three years and programs are designed according to the needs of the community. Currently WAMY has four programs- Youth Development, Food and Nutrition, Housing and Energy, and Total Family Development. To learn more or donate visit wamycommunityaction.org.