Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS
 
 
 

Annual Spirit of Christmas benefit takes place Tuesday

Thousands of dollars worth of prizes and auctions up for grabs

December 1, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

After diligent planning and preparation, the eighth annual Spirit of Christmas benefit, raising funds for the Spirit of Christmas Foundation, giving a Christmas to hundreds of local children and families in need, will be taking place Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the American Legion Post 274, 899 Buttonwood Drive. All are welcome to attend so bring your friends and fam.

Jim and Sharon Jamieson, lead coordinators and founders of the local foundation, have been working diligently to not only get this benefit organized and organized well but have put in hours upon hours of research to find local families in dire need of help. This benefit will be raising funds to help those families.

The live music of the evening will be provided by fun local group Just 4 Fun, a five-piece band that plays all types of hits from the 1950s and '60s, really getting the crowd to the dance floor.

Article Photos

After diligent planning and preparation, the eighth annual Spirit of Christmas benefit, raising funds for the Spirit of Christmas Foundation, giving a Christmas to hundreds of local children and families in need, will be taking place Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the American Legion Post 274, 899 Buttonwood Drive. All are welcome to attend – so bring your friends and fam. Photo courtesy SHARON JAMIESON.

"We were happy to see this band perform earlier last week, and they are a lot of fun. They're great for dancing, listening and enjoying throughout the evening," said Jim. "We have a lot of fun in store that evening, and so far, plans are coming along great. We are so proud to be at the Legion, and we have a lot of great things in store for the benefit."

Among the raffle prizes, take your hand at winning a Christmas tree trimmed with more than $400+ worth of restaurant gift certificates at local eateries, a wine wagon chock-full of more than $200 worth of wine, and many more fantastic items.

The front hall will be lined with tables and tables worth of fantastic silent auction prizes. And get ready, as a live auctioneer will be on premises, verbally auctioning off some of them for additional high-energy fun and excitement throughout the evening. There is no charge to enter the benefit that night.

Article Map

"We have so many fantastic auctions to win, from hotel packages to utterly unique and interesting gifts. You'll just have to see it to believe it," Jim said. "Last year, we had more than 60 items on the auction tables, and this year, there will be more than 60 items yet again, ranging from tee times on private golf courses, hotel stay packages both gulf-front and bay-front show packages to the Barbara B. Mann and Broadway Palm theaters, marina boat rentals and cruise packages and much more. Plus, everyone who walks in will be eligible for a door prize that evening."

The American Legion will also be offering some delicious food and drink specials in honor of the fundraising benefit for a very fair price. Enjoy a savory platter of smothered chicken or smothered pork chops with all the trimmings for a mere $8 during the benefit.

The live music will kick off at 6:30 that evening and go all night long, keeping you on the dance floor. There is no charge to enter, all are welcome to attend, and you never know what special prize you might win during the night.

The goal of the "Spirit of Christmas" campaign is to raise money so the group can provide Christmas for children in Southwest Florida who would have little or no gifts. The idea of providing Christmas for a needy family was started many years ago. Over the years, the number of families the group has helped has grown into the thousands, and now able to raise enough funds to give Christmas to hundreds of local Southwest Florida children annually.

Throughout the eight years of the foundation's existence, it's helped more than 2,000 children in more than 1,000 families, and helped to raise more than $250,000 to go to the cause. The foundation also works with Golisano Children's Hospital and HealthPark, to assist families pouring every last cent of their income into fighting horrible diseases. Last year, a very special family, in particular, warmed the Jamiesons' hearts.

"Last year, we gave 256 local children (about 130 families) a Christmas," Jim said. "After the shopping day was over, our foundation went to visit one family that really got me a father and his four children: a 3-year-old boy who had no bed and would sleep on his dog, two girls, 6 and 7, sleeping on the floor with no mattress, and a teenage girl who had a mattress on the floor. It was terrible living conditions. With the help of other local non-profit organizations, we found them a full house of furniture, every kid had their own bed with two sets of sheets for each and since then, the family has been doing wonderfully. The teenage girl has been eligible for sports and academic scholarships, and the father's sole objective was to keep the four kids together, so we're so happy to report they are in much nicer living conditions. We love that. And he has been doing great, holding his family together and getting everything back in order. That is what it's all about."

With support and generous donations, this family and hundreds of others are able to experience a wonderful Christmas season. This year, the foundation plans to give another 250 local children and 125 to 150 families a Christmas. Sharon already has about 90 so far.

Each year the group contacts many different locations to find the families that truly need our help schools, churches, the Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Health Park Hospital, Golisano Children's Hospital, Ruth Cooper Center, Even Start Family Program, The American Legion, and by word of mouth.

"All of this is possible, thanks to the generosity of our community the American Legion Post 274, the Sons of the American Legion, the Women's Auxiliary, Chris and Joni Hall of the Hall Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ehlars, Johnny Solar, and the wonderful generosity of our island businesses and nearby establishments," Jim said. "We couldn't do any of this without them those donated prizes and gifts bring in a lot of funds to our foundation, and we're thankful for each and every one of them."

If interested in seeing how you can help the organization, visit SpiritOfChristmasInc.com.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web