By CLINT FOSTER
Mineral Wells Senior Center’s fourth annual Taste of Palo Pinto County fundraiser was nothing short of a huge success.
The event, held at Holiday Hills Country Club on July 15, was shockingly more successful than the 2012 incarnation, according to senior center Executive Director Vivian Conrad. She said last year the event sold 164 tickets, hosted 24 sponsors and netted $14,000. This year those numbers exploded to 248 tickets, 52 sponsors and grossed $25,000.
“It exceeded our expectations,” Conrad said. “We’re just very grateful for the support of the community because they really rallied behind us. [The money we earned] is going to put us in a great position for the rest of the year. We’ll still have to keep working on bringing the money in, but it’s going to take a lot of the pressure off of us.”
Conrad said the event went great. She added the only thing that went wrong was, although there was plenty of food, they were not prepared for the large turnout.
“The only glitch of the night was that we had more people than we were expecting and we ran out of chairs. Next year, we will plan more optimistically and try to make sure everyone has a seat,” she noted.
Conrad said one of the main reasons that the event went so well was that everyone at the senior center was involved, from top to bottom.
“We have some new board members who just really got busy and they were out there promoting and making contacts,” she said. “They brought in a lot of new sponsors and sold a lot of tickets. This year more of our members at large pitched in and wanted to help. Also a lot of our participants at the center took it upon themselves to bring in sponsors, sell tickets and bring in auction items. So, everyone was involved and it really paid off.”
The senior center expects to net $23,000 from Taste of Palo Pinto County, after expenses, which is still almost $10,000 more than the previous year, according to Conrad.
This gives the center funds to pay bills and employees as well as take care of a few extra chores. The senior center’s large freezer recently broke and needed to be replaced.
While that was a concern before the event, Conrad said the executive committee has already approved purchasing a new freezer, which she plans to order this week.
Conrad praised senior center participants for stepping up and contributing.
“Our participants at the center have taken ownership of that and pitched in and gotten their friends and family to pitch in,” she said.
“They have handed in about $1,600 toward a new freezer. I am just so pleased and satisfied and grateful that our senior center participants are taking such ownership of the center.”
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