The Duncan Banner
Bonnie Talley received a standing ovation at this year’s annual Duncan Gabriel’s House Benefit Dinner and Art Auction.
As the founder of the non-profit organization, Talley was recognized at the event Thursday night at the Simmons Center for realizing a need in the community and having the dedication to see it through to fruition. Gabriel’s House celebrated its 15th anniversary this past spring.
“Everyone associates Gabriel’s House with Bonnie Talley, as they should,” said Karla Buchanan, executive director. “She wanted to make a difference in the lives of children in Duncan, Oklahoma and had the courage to help the less fortunate.”
Buchanan went on to say that for the past 15 years, Talley, who is also program director, has given her time and money to the organization without asking for anything in return, even recognition. She said Talley has never wanted anything but what is best for the children.
Talley was presented with a framed original Gabriel’s House logo that had been recreated for this purpose.
“I am totally surprised and humbled,” Talley said.
Moments before Buchanan surprised Talley with a recognition of her own, Talley honored a long-time volunteer of Gabriel’s House with the annually given Halo Award. This award is given to someone who has shown unwavering dedication to Gabriel’s House.
David Redelsperger was this year’s recipient of the award for more than 10 years of not only serving on the organization’s board, but also providing financial assistance. Redelsperger prepares several of Gabriel’s House’s audits and payroll tax reports.
“He does this all as an in-kind donation and doesn’t take a dime for it,” Talley said.
Auctioned off at the end of the night in silent and live auctions were a variety of items. Some were art from Gabriel’s House students, donated works from local artists, dinner giveaways and gourmet sweets.
All of the proceeds from the evening go toward the operational costs of Gabriel’s House. They got a large head start at the beginning of the evening when Hal Labyer made a presentation on the behalf of the Walton Foundation in the form of a $5,000 check.
Gabriel’s House, an agency of the United Way, teaches children about art, dancing and martial arts, as well as manners and how to live a healthy lifestyle. It is an after-school program where children continue to learn. The materials and supplies needed for this program takes much more money than the public sometimes realizes.