With the current Lewis & Clark Public Health COVID-19-related restrictions on large gatherings, it makes the option to have a live benefit, as in prior years, logistically impossible. As the LVCC's only true fundraising event, which covers the cost of the 4th of July Parade, fireworks, scholarships and basic operating expenses, the board decided they could still hold the event virtually, similar to the way in which the Lincoln Fire Rescue held the Fireman's Ball earlier this year, to meet their fundraising goals.
"While the event may take on a slightly different approach, the result will be the same. By purchasing tickets and supporting the Chamber in this way, attendees are helping to support the Chamber in promotion of Lincoln and events, while highlighting the unique aspects of our town, and to help draw visitors." said Kate Radford, Chamber president.
Letters went out in the mail to prior year attendees offering them first option to purchase tickets with their preferred ticket number. According to board member, Erin Dey, tickets are already selling well. General ticket sales will open up to the public beginning Sept. 30. Tickets can be purchased at the BVD office during their normal business hours Monday-Friday between 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ticket prices are $60. Although this year's benefit won't include the perks of a meal and a live performance, the ticket price still includes the chance to win $5000. Moreover, the LVCC board members hope people will continue to support the organization this year, so it in turn can continue to support the community in the future. The drawing of numbers will be done during a Facebook Live event. Chairs with the names/numbers of finalists will be placed on the stage during the live event, and once down to the last two, a board member will call each of those people to see if they want to split the winnings or go for it all. In the event one of those people cannot be reached within 10 minutes, the last person to go off the stage will be brought back, and the process repeated until a winner is finalized. For those who don't personally have Facebook, the Chamber board encourages you to gather with family or friends who do to take part in the event.
Silent Auction items will be put on Facebook beginning around Oct. 30 and will be available for bidding until the night before the benefit. For those businesses or individuals wanting to donate items or baskets for the auction, they need to be delivered to Laurie Richards at the Wheel Inn or Erin Dey at the BVD office no later than Oct. 23. This will allow the committee time to photograph and prepare descriptions of the items to bid on. They are also asking that baskets not be wrapped in cellophane this year, so they can get better photos.
The Chamber is also working with the Lincoln Community Players to show a video of some of their prior performances during past benefits. Details on the video, along with the actual timeline of the event will be released as the event date draws closer.
While it all may sound a bit confusing at the moment, the Chamber plans to continue to get information out to the public via Facebook, the LVCC website, email and the BVD. You can always check out the event on their Facebook page and ask questions there if you have them or reach out to one of the board members for clarification.
Current board members include Kate Radford, Greg Smith, Whitney Cyr, Bob Weatherston, Laurie Welty, Erin Dey and Tammy Jordan.