“Wizard of Oz” Gala raises $73,000 for children; Fraziers win beach raffle



There was no place like Adaumont Farm on Saturday, April 12 for the annual Gala for the Children. Hundreds of people from across the county didn’t let the lions, tigers and bears keep them away. Many wore costumes and donned ruby red slippers as they followed the yellow brick road into fundraising action to raise $73,000 to benefit programs for children and families in Randolph County.

An annual affair that heralds the beginning of Spring, the Gala is always themed around a well-known children’s book, emphasizing the Partnership’s focus on family literacy and the importance of reading to children from a very young age. To bring a modern twist to the 75th anniversary of a timeless classic, this year’s Gala was filled with magic and wonder from the “The Wizard of Oz.”

Led by Gala chairs, Chris and Stacy Griffin and honorary co-chairs, Bill and Ann Hoover, the event was held at Kyle Petty’s picturesque Farm in Trinity. Guests who attended the Oz-themed soiree began the evening by the following the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz.

The Archdale-Trinity Gala Committee, led by Bert Lance-Stone, were inspired by the “brains of the Scarecrow” and really put their heads together for this year’s decorations. Committee members Tabatha Allred, Dianne Coltrane, Vicki Fletcher, Carol Hamilton, Debi Lagueruela, April Moore, Deborah and Devin Smith, Janice Spainhour, Kathy Stuart and Lynn Walden–in conjunction with Uwharrie Charter Academy, Trinity Furniture, Angel Beach Salon and Tracy & Diane Lax–created an impressive scene complete with a hand-painted Emerald City, lollipops, and a yellow brick road. Paul and Margie Trogdon, of Asheboro, created wooden, life-sized Wizard of Oz characters to greet guests.

Guests enjoyed an expansive silent auction featuring unique items including gift baskets, art, pottery, jewelry, autographed sports memorabilia, travel and experiences. More than 160 local businesses and individuals contributed items to the silent auction. Led by committee chair, Sarah Beth Campbell, silent auction committee members included Todd Cutler, Todd Gilmore, Katie Hogan, Kelly Inman, Shannon McCrary, Erin Neal, Beth Robbins, Brandi Crumley-Runyan, Becca Whitley, Jamie Yates, Mallory Thomas, Kelly Vuncannon and Beverly Wilson.

The Attractions Band, which is in the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, offered a fun-filled evening of dancing to beach, shag, and oldies favorites. Carter Coyle, a reporter with WGHP Fox 8 News, served as emcee for the evening. Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner from Snyder Farms Catering, wine from Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery and The Wet Whistle, and beer from Natty Greene's Brewing Co. The father-daughter team of Kevin and Shelby Bowman, with G.G.T. Photography, captured the night’s greatest moments.Randleman Enrichment Center sponsored a photo booth for guests to enjoy, which included custom Oz-themed props, handmade by Mallory Thomas.

Guests also enjoyed a variety of Oz-themed desserts. Led by chair, Deborah Smith, dessert committee members included Lydia Craven, Todd Henderson, Carolyn Lignum, Tyson Nixon, Vicki Troxler, and JD Walker who each contributed fabulous sweet treats. Archdale Bakery created a spectacular centerpiece cake.

Children from across the county made table centerpieces tied to The Wizard of Oz theme. Oz-themed backdrops from the Trinity High School Band Boosters brought the theme to life. Tabatha Allred and Matt Craven, with the band The Sunset Renegades, impressed guests with their rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

As part of this year’s Gala for the Children, the partnership introduced a raffle for a weeklong stay at the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC. Led by committee chair, Christie Luckenbach, raffle committee members including Jack Mitchell, Mary Beth McAvoy, Bruce Hodge and Diane Winnemuller, sold 500 tickets to raise $10,000.  Sam and Karen Frazier, of Trinity, were the lucky winners of the beach vacation.

The Wet Whistle Co. hosted another raffle for an outdoor-style Drum Works furniture chair, which was donated by Drum Works Furniture. The winner of the chair was Chris Senters of Archdale.

The PNC "Grow Up Great" team managed the check-in and check-out process. Led by committee chair, Christy Murphy, committee members included Tina Luck, Kelly York, Angela Burkholder, Norma Jones, Chris McDowell, Jared Stines, Liane Locke, Kim Davis and Crystal Hudson.

“The Gala is the Partnership’s major fund raiser to ensure there are funds to sustain programs for young children and families in Randolph County,” said Stacy Griffin. “Thanks to the Partnership’s work and community support, thousands of children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.

A key part of the evening centered on raising funds for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which brings books to children's homes. The partnership administers the program to children in Randolph County. From birth until they turn five years old, children enrolled in the program receive a new, age-appropriate book mailed to their home each month. By the time they enter kindergarten, children have their own library of books and are more prepared to enter school and become readers.

Gala attendees and community supporters recognized the value of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and gave generously to the program this year. In addition, Sherri Trotter and Todd Henderson, with Randolph County Schools, organized an internal campaign for the Randolph County School System.  Employees from across the county sponsored 131 children for the program, which brought the total number of children sponsored to the highest amount ever recorded for the partnership. Dr. Stephen Gainey, Superintendent of Randolph County Schools,surprised the crowd with the announcement.  

PNC served as presenting sponsor of the Gala for the Children. “Ruby Slippers” sponsors included Commonwealth Hosiery Mills, Inc.; Chris and Stacy Griffin; Pam Hill, Randolph County Clerk of Court; MOM Brands; Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center; Randolph Oil Co.; The Courier-Tribune; and Wells Fargo. “The Emerald City” sponsors were Acme/McCrary-Sapona Foundation; Elizabeth Aldridge; Ennobra Bloom Boutique; Bill and Ann Hoover; McDowell Lumber Company, Inc.; Randolph Medical Associates-Pediatrics and Technimark, LLC.  The “Yellow Brick Road” sponsors included Advisors Financial Center-Chris and Neal Griffin; Archdale Drug; Asheboro Fire & Security, Inc.; Bank of the Carolinas; Bank of North Carolina; Burge Flower Shop, Inc.; Chick-fil-A of Asheboro; CommunityOne Bank; Cumby Family Funeral Service; Steve and Diane Frost; Dr. Stephen and Kelly Gainey; High Point Veterninary Hospital; Rep. Pat B. Hurley; Insurance Associates of the Triad; McCrary International; Pauline A. McKee; Bob and Peggy Morrison; Prevo Drug-Ken and Ashley Duggins; Lynne Qualls; Randolph Hospital; Dr. and Mrs. James M. Rich Jr.; Thomasville-Archdale-Trinity Pediatrics, and Todd and Denise Williams.

The Randolph County Partnership for Children, a nonprofit organization, is the community’s lead organization for young children and their families. The Partnership for Children is a United Way agency. For more information, visit: www.randolphkids.org


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