JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University Convocation Center has never been dripping with moss or magnolias. But, in between now and March 4, an incredible transformation will take place.
The women of the Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro, a local non-profit organization, gear up each year to create an elegant evening to raise money for the organization's ten different service projects operating in Craighead County. Last year, Junior Auxiliary members gave more than 10,000 hours to serve and touch the lives of more than 12,000 children.
This year's event begins with a silent auction at 6 p.m. There's a live auction at 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Kristy Rowe is the 2017 Charity Ball chair. She says excitement is building for the evening as live auction packages are being revealed online on Junior Auxiliary's Facebook page.
"We do have 22 live auction packages," Dr. Rowe said. "Sissy's has been one of our long-time supporters. They have donated a Lagos bracelet this year worth over $6,000."
Dr. Rowe displayed a purse that will be up for auction.
"It will be available at our live auction," Dr. Rowe said. "We have a Chanel purse. It's a $3,100 value bag. You know it's the perfect arm candy. The perfect accessory!"
Other auction items include a four-karat ring from Gorgeous Custom Jewelry Design.
"It is a Morganite and will be available at our live auction," Dr. Rowe said.
There are trips to exotic locations.
"So 'Restore and Explore in Costa Rica,' actually gives you the option of going to two different hotels," Dr. Rowe said. "You can choose one or the other, or you can choose both hotels during your trip. It's amazing! You can go to the golf hotel, or you can go to the spa hotel."
Arkansas State University is also sponsoring a live auction package.
"ASU is always a sponsor for Charity Ball," Dr. Rowe explained. "We appreciate them. They have sponsored a homecoming package. It's in the end zone this year for 30 people."
For families, there's a trip to Disney World.
"Disney World's a favorite. That's always a crowd-pleaser because who doesn't love Disney World?" Dr. Rowe said. "It's sponsored by St. Bernards. We're always glad to have Disney because that's a crowd favorite."
How about building a fireplace in the backyard?
"We have crowd to-date sponsored by Nettleton Concrete and put together by Olympus Construction," Dr. Rowe said. "It's an $8,000 fireplace, perfect for someone's backyard."
Racing fans can check out a driving experience: NASCAR Driver for a Day.
Guests to the Charity Ball can participate in a $100 wild card. For a $100 donation, guest can receive a one in 150 chance to choose any live auction package before the auction begins.
Dr. Rowe expects 725 people in attendance for this year's Charity Ball. That is the largest crowd to-date, according to Dr. Rowe.
The first Charity Ball raised $217.36. Now the event routinely raises well over $100,000 annually.
Money raised each year helps to fund projects like Consolidated Youth Services (CYS), Crown Club, Girls Enrichment, Growing Healthy, Kick-Start Kindergarten, Literacy & More, Scholarship, Share & Wear, The Learning Center, and Times Tales. Dancing will follow the dinner and auction.
Al Paris and the Heartbreakers will entertain until midnight. For more information on silent auction items, visit jajonesboro.org.
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