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Shepherd’s House tailgate party is Saturday

For anyone wishing to get away from it all — while supporting a key local charity — the upcoming Shepherd’s House Superbowl Tailgate fundraiser on Saturday evening might be just the ticket.

No, the annual event is not being held in some far-away locale, nor will it have a decoration and dress theme of some foreign land.

As part of the fundraiser, the homeless shelter has partnered with American Fundraising Foundation Inc., to auction off exotic vacations.

How exotic?

Trips available for the auction include an Alaskian cruise, a visit to the Greek Islands, Iceland, the Tuscany region of Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, the wine country of France, San Francisco and the Napa Valley, as well as Amalfi Coast in southern Italy.

“There are nine different trips — every time we sell one, or someone bids on one and locks it in, we benefit at the Shepherd’s House,” said Jana Elliott, Shepherd’s House executive director.

While this will be the ninth tailgate party fundraiser, the vacation auctions are new this year, replacing the silent auctions for local goods and services that used to be part of the annual gathering.

Elliott said those auctions usually consisted of local artists, businesses, and organizations donating goods and services, with those attending the party placing silent bids.

She said she’s hopeful the new trip auctions will raise more money, while putting a “little bit less work” on her staff and corps of volunteers. “People can bid online or bid at the fundraiser,” she said.

Elliott said the tailgate party — held at Cross Creek Country Club as in years past — is the single biggest fundraiser the Shepherd’s House has each year.

The Shepherd’s House has been a long-time homeless shelter, serving woman and children at its Rockford Street location since 2003. With its recent expansion into a new building on Spring Street, the shelter can now serve as many as 64 individuals at a time, and is able to accommodate full families depending upon bed availability.

With the expansion and larger number of clients has come a rise in operating expense, making this year’s fundraiser more important. Elliott said the goal is to bring in $100,000 from Saturday’s tailgate party, a figure the organization has met two times.

The party will include live music and games, under the direction of B-Dazzle DJ Blanton Youell, as well as dinner.

While the dinner ticket sales have closed — she said they sold 290 tickets — those wishing to purchase $100 raffle tickets for a chance at a $10,000 prize, as well as those wishing to take part in the vacation auctions — can still do so.

For more information about the auction, or to purchase raffle tickets, visit



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