MT. VERNON — —
Mike Hockett, a journeyman lineman for Ameren, said United Way is a great organization that deserves support.
“Everything that they do is community based so I think it's really good that what they do stays in the community,” Hockett said.
Also at the gathering, a Champion of Hope Award was given to Larry Smith, a board member of Habitat for Humanity. Smith led the construction crew that completed the Lifeboat Alliance Shelter.
The award, Hutchison said, honors individuals who volunteer their time to help make the community a better place.
“It's just someone in the community that exemplifies what it means to live united,” Hutchison said.
In addition Saturday, Beard made a special presentation about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides books to children in need. He also presided over an auction that night to raise money for the Imagination Library.
“I always enjoy talking about things that the United Way does,” Beard said. “Until you're involved with it, you just can't understand the magnitude and how far outreaching this organization is and how much good it does for the community. … Every single dollar matters.”
Saturday's celebration also featured a silent auction, a live auction, a 50/50 drawing and a special “diamond raffle” where the prize was a pair of diamond earrings.
Prizes for the live auction included a hot air balloon ride, a YMCA family membership, and a dinner for six prepared by a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and his assistant.