By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
Officials of the United Way of South Central Illinois are making plans for their annual Red Feather Ball, scheduled Feb. 16 at the Holiday Inn.
“We have always had a victory celebration to commemorate our campaign financing for the past year and to recognize our donors. Even though we have a lot of fun with it, it serves a good purpose,” said Rhonda Edmonson, executive director of the organization.
This will be the fourth year for the Red Feather Ball, which is derived from the history of the United Way, designating the red feather as its symbol.
“It coincides with our history and makes for a nice gala for our celebration,” Edmonson said.
Attendees are encouraged to wear red — women red dresses and men red ties.
Individual tickets for the event are $40 each; executive tables are $500 each; corporate tables are $500 each. Under both plans, businesses will have corporate signage at their tables and they are mentioned in the annual report.
A cash bar will be open at 5 p.m., dinner will follow at 5:45 p.m., and the awards ceremony will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Jorrells, a seven-piece brass band, will be the featured entertainment, beginning at 8 p.m.
One of the unique events that occurs at the annual celebration is the fund-a-need auction. The organization auctions off lots, with proceeds going to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“We typically raise $10,000 to $16,000 in about a 10-minute period. It’s the easiest money we raise all year,” Edmonson said.
United Way’s fundraising campaign will end on March 31. The 2013 campaign begins on April 1.
“We will continue to post gifts for this campaign until that time,” Edmonson said, noting the current campaign is about 90 percent on goal. This year’s fundraising goal was set at $310,000.
“We’re estimating we’re going to be around $280,000 to $290,000,” Edmonson said. “We probably won’t make goal, but we’ve shifted our focus from determining our success based on the thermometer that we’ve standardized for the community.”
Edmonson said United Way allocations will be made in March, based proportionately on funds received during the 2012 campaign.
Reservations for the banquet will be received through Feb. 4. They can be made by calling the United Way office at 242-8000 or visiting the organization’s web site at firstname.lastname@example.org.