The Barn at Willow Oak Acres was filled to the brim last night as the 15th Annual Beads, Bags, and Bangles attracted quite the crowd. Approximately 200 people attended the fundraiser, and the mood was just as buoyant as the theme of the event. Boatin’ was the central motif of the night, and nautically-themed decor and designs could be seen throughout the venue, as well as within the seafood hors d’oeuvres and participants’ clothing ensembles.
Live music from Dave Almond, water-related games, and shopping were definite crowd pleasers during the night as seafarers mingled, ate, and browsed the available selections. A big draw of the event was the auction and the plethora of items up for bid. A Blackstone grill, Razorback tickets, weekend cabin getaways, Oaklawn box seats, gift certificates, and a Traeger Tailgater grill were just a few of the many options on display during the auction. The main attractions of the night were the drawings for vacay dinner for two anywhere around the world, sponsored by Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home, as well as a pair of John Hardy black sapphire/black spinal square drop earrings and a John Hardy hammered silver/black spinel drop pendant necklace, sponsored by Alexander’s Jewelers.
Proceeds of the Beads, Bags, and Bangles annual event go to the UAHT Foundation, which supports Kids College and Camp Save-A-Life programs. These programs are designed for students entering first through eight grade. UAHT Foundation Director Anna Powell said this annual BBB event has been an integral component of raising funds for these programs from its start 15 years ago. “The original group of women who started this had kids in mind whose lives they wanted to impact, and they wanted the kids to know at a young age that going to college was attainable,” Powell said. “So whenever Kid’s College became a part of UAHT, we started raising funds for scholarships and supplies so these kids could attend these programs and really feel like they have a chance at getting a degree.”
From stem to stern, the venue was packed with many members of the community who showed up to support the fundraiser, and a list of sponsors was on display (see photos below) that demonstrated just how many businesses, organizations, and individuals assisted in making the event happen. The night was filled with the fun and fellowship of a community coming together for a worthy cause. The best result of all though will occur this summer, when Kids College and Camp Save-A-Life open their doors, and another group of eager, excited children will set sail to participate in a summer enrichment program full of knowledge, imagination, and creativity.