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Special Pops seeking auction items

By Staff | Apr 26, 2016

The city’s Special Populations is in need of items to auction off at an upcoming fundraiser.

The 8th annual Fashion Show and Auction will be held on June 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Palmetto-Pine Country Club. Hosted by the Guardian Angels for Special Populations, the event will consist of three auctions, as well as a runway show featuring summer looks by the Bell Tower Shops.

“We have set up so many different auctions, raffles and chances for the guests,” Vince Marcucci, president of the Guardian Angels for Special Populations, said. “They’re going to have a great time.”

All proceeds will benefit the participant programs available at Special Populations.

“Last year, we netted out at just under $12,000,” he said.

Organizers hope to raise a little more with this year’s fundraiser.

“Just to know you’re making a little progress every year,” Marcucci said.

Currently, there are about 80 individuals enrolled in the Special Population day program. Another estimated 60 individuals take part in the after-school and evening social programs and special events. Special Populations focuses on individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or both.

Marcucci explained that the participants, who may have Down syndrome, autism or such, get to serve as the models in the show. They pick out their outfits and get makeovers before hitting the runway.

“They are just so thrilled,” he said. “We have music playing and they strut their stuff.”

There are typically nine to 11 participants who get to take part.

“It’s really a heart-warming event,” Marcucci said. “You get to see where your money goes.”

The fundraiser will feature live, silent and Chinese auctions, along with a 50/50 raffle.

“And we do door prizes,” he said.

The live auction will include bigger items, like Disney Park Hopper tickets, hotel stays and more.

“We usually have three or four nice items for that,” Marcucci said.

The Chinese auction will feature themed baskets; the silent auction will offer gift cards and such.

Currently, Guardian Angels is seeking donations from the community for auction items. Gift certificates for services from various businesses would be welcomed, as well as gift certificates to restaurants. Stores have donated unique furniture, businesses have given chocolate and more.

“We’ll take anything,” he said.

Businesses that donate are listed in the program for the event.

To donate, call (239) 574-0574 or stop by the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $30 and include lunch, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks.

“The place has a cash bar available,” Marcucci added.

There are a total of 200 tickets available.

He urged people to pick up theirs.

“They get to enjoy lunch and meet some new friends,” Marcucci said.

Tickets can be purchased over the phone with a credit card at 239-574-0574, by stopping by the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center, or at: www.myspecialpops.org by using PayPal.

The Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center is at 410 Santa Barbara Blvd.

The Palmetto-Pine Country Club is at 1940 S.W. Ninth Court.