PR class plans auction to benefit elderly

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This year, instead of planning an event to benefit themselves, the students in Nelle Bedner’s event-planning class came up with the idea to host a silent auction. The proceeds of the auction will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art snow cone machine for the Salem Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“We were given the opportunity to do anything,” junior Caroline Holt said. “We decided to do something to benefit someone else.”

The class decided to host the auction after a discussion on which residents in Conway needed assistance. Since local businesses often donate to children’s charities the class decided to give assistance to the elderly.

“Sometimes the nursing homes get left out,” senior Terry McClendon said.

When the class contacted the center they found out there was a whole wish list of items that the residents had requested. High on the list was the snow cone machine.

According to Bedner, the auction will need to make at least $1000 to cover the expenses of the machine.

“Older people won’t drink water in the summer because they get bored with it,” junior Adriane Harrington said.

According to Harrington, adding sugar-free syrup to shaved ice will give the center’s residents a way to stay hydrated without having to actually drink water.

The silent auction will take place on Wednesday, October 18 in the McCastlain Hall Mirror Room from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Area businesses and residents donated the items up for bid, and have been more than cooperative with the students.

“[Business owners] have been more than generous,” senior Rebekah Gardner said.

Some of the items the auction will include are: a sizeable photo package from local photographer Lance Johnston, a Nintendo 64 with 6 games from Game Force, a tanning package and sample products from Z-Tans, two season tickets to the Conway Symphony Orchestra, gift certificates to Mike’s Place and a host of other items.

The students, who all took the initiative in finding donations, are very pleased with the experience the class has provided.

“I think as a whole, this class is a great learning experience,” senior Katie Bruich said. “We are all going to be doing this when we graduate; it has been hands on learning.”

Bedner couldn’t be prouder of the students for their hard work and devotion to this project.

“[The students] have worked very hard at making this silent auction a reality,” Bedner said. “They’ve been practicing all of the concepts necessary in planning a successful event.

“They started their planning early, made visits to different places before deciding on a location, secured start-up funds and auction donations, designed all of the printed materials, contacted the media and, as a whole, have conducted themselves in a most professional way,” Bedner said.

The students are also proud of their work and their choice to purchase the snow cone machine.

“I think it will be really great to bring happiness and something new to the nursing home,” senior John Morris said.

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