The Duncan Banner

December 7, 2012

Chamber breakfast explores giving spirit

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — With Christmas fast approaching, some people are getting in the giving spirit.

And that giving spirit was prominent Thursday during the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry community breakfast. Non-profit organizations represented included the Stephens County Humane Society, the Duncan Jaycees, the Community Christmas Dinner Committee, United Way of Stephens County and Christians Concerned.

Haylee Root, appearing on behalf of the Duncan Jaycees, extended her thanks to the individuals and businesses who donated items to the annual auction, those who bought items from the auction and those who volunteered their time to make the auction a reality.

“The help at the (Jaycees) Hut blew me away,” Root said.

The annual auction, which ran Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, raised money to take area children shopping for clothing. Guardians of the children send in applications through their schools to be selected.

Traditionally, the organization raises about $30,000, which helps about 300 children after the organization pays expenses. This year, after expenses, the organization raised between $33,000 to $34,000.

Organization members and other volunteers will meet between 9 a.m. to noon Saturday to help with the clothing transitions at Wal-Mart and Payless Shoes. She said the more volunteers the better.

Another organization with a mission of giving is the United Way.

Russ Stewart, the 2012 campaign chairman, said the United Way campaign has been successful. So far, the organization has reached 65 percent of its total fundraising goal and there are still many other donations coming in.

“We’re going to reach our 100 percent,” Stewart said.

Sonny Webb discussed the Community Christmas Dinner during the Chamber breakfast. Webb said this is the 24th annual dinner, which features people who give up time Christmas day to provide a meal for members of the community to enjoy. Webb said the non-profit dinner is for anyone who wants to come, whether to eat or volunteer time.

“Last year, we served more than 3,000,” Webb said. “Usually, we have a coupe hundred volunteers.”

A few non-profit organization requested help from the community to turn around and help others in the community. Christians Concerned, represented by Gina Flesher and Cassie Gilmore, talked about things people can do in the community to benefit others. This included rounding up City of Duncan bills. The extra change would go toward the Christians Concerned cause. Flesher also joined Loisdawn Jones to discuss the Duncan Little Theatre “Dixie Swim Club,” which is a competition piece going to the regional competition in 2013. DLT is selling miles to get the group to the competition in Louisiana.

Flesher said 200 miles still remain to be purchased. People can purchase these $10 miles, which are tax deductible, from the “Dixie Swim Club” members.

Jones talked about the Simmons Center Tree and Wreath Auction with proceeds going toward various charities in the community. She said there are plenty of items to bid on, and people can gift their winnings to the charities.

Stephens County Humane Society. Kelly Nelson, SCHS Board president, said the year is going great, but there are still a few more opportunities remaining this year for the organization to raise additional funds to aid the animals at the shelter.

The final giving came from the annual Murf’s ham auction with proceeds going to the Chamber. This year, two hams donated by Jessie Murphree, were auctioned. By the end of the auction, two hospital employees CEO Jay Johnson and media relations Haylee Root purchased the hams for $130 each. Jerry Shaffer, who received a can of SPAM earlier in the breakfast, offered up the can for auction, too. The can wrangled in an additional $26 for the Chamber.