Carhops, pony tails and saddle oxfords: Boys and Girls Club fundraiser takes on a Fifties flair

From Staff Reports

Social life in these parts is about to take a giant step backward — half a century's worth — with the "Let's Go To The Hop" dinner and auction on Saturday, April 21, benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Hopkins County.

The annual fund raiser at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center will have a Fifties flavor, complete with carhops and ponytails. Guests are encouraged to give free rein to their own Fifties' impulses.

"I'm coming in rolled-up blue jeans, saddle oxfords and a ponytail, if I can find one," said the gala's short-haired chairman, Pennye West.

And her husband Bo?

"He'll be there, looking dangerous in jeans, a T-shirt with a pack of candy cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve, and maybe a ducktail. It's hard to know in advance what kind of hair you can rent," West said.

Club president Charles Dawson said he's just getting started planning his party wardrobe, "But if I can find an old pair of Converses, I'll wear them."

Dawson said the night of fun has a serious purpose.

"People give generous financial gifts because they think we're doing something worthwhile," he said. "We had a successful golf tournament last fall, but the gala is our biggest fund raiser."

Dawson said the club provides after-school activities for about 130 youngsters at its headquarters on Houston Street each day, and accommodates an equal number at the satellite operation in Cumby. A smaller number of older children, 11 and up, come to Wesley United Methodist Church each afternoon.

"We give them plenty of chances to have fun, but we also have an ironclad chuck of time set aside for homework," Dawson said.

Tickets for the gala are $35. The dinner, featuring steak or hamburgers and make-your-own-sundaes, will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a live auction at 7 p.m. A silent auction is also planned.

The rapid-fire delivery of veteran auctioneer Wade Bartley will speed live auction items, including a weekend at a beach house on South Padre Island, to their new owners. Among numerous other biddables will be an airplane ride, an Aladdin oil lamp, a Pandora bracelet, and a schnauzer (house and doggie-door trained), because no Boys and Girls Club auction is complete without a dog.

The Fifties theme will be evident in the decorations worked up by Vali Brannon and her committee. Jim McLeroy will be returning as the gala's chief cook, and Jason Dietze will be the emcee.

For more information, contact Pennye West at 903-243-3950 or Tom Stewart at 903-885-5768.

� Information from Tom Stewart

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