Sara Burns found herself last week surrounded by all sorts of fabulous stuff.
The president of Celina Association of Renaissance Excellence (C.A.R.E.) was using her home as a staging area while she organized and catalogued the numerous items that will be sold to the highest bidders Saturday during the organization’s annual Ladies Brunch & Auction fundraiser.
The popular event has been held annually for more than a decade. This weekend’s event at Celina High School is expected to draw about 200 women and, for the first time, girls ages 12 and older who are being allowed to attend with their mothers.
C.A.R.E. is a nonprofit academic booster club that funds Celina ISD programs and scholarships. It hopes to raise $50,000 during this weekend’s event, themed “Boots ‘N Bling.”
The funds collected will be divvied up among Celina High School seniors who applied for and may be selected to receive a scholarship from the organization during a ceremony May 9.
“Because it’s been going on for so long, it’s such a part of the community,” Burns said of the event.
It is one of two large events that C.A.R.E. hosts each year. The group is also behind the annual Jingle Jog Fun Run through Celina each December.
Numerous items donated by sponsors for the silent auction portion of Saturday’s event were taking up space in Burns’ home. Among them were home décor pieces, artwork, a handbag, jewelry, a Yeti cooler and even an iron bird bath.
Bigger-ticket items are being reserved for the live auction segment. They include a brewery tour in Boston; a dove-hunting excursion in Argentina; a VIP tour of the WFAA-TV studios led by Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus; and a slumber party for eight children at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
Other items that will be up for bid include several that Burns called “priceless,” including the chance to be a coach for the day alongside Celina High School head football Coach Bill Elliott; to be Celina mayor or city manager for the day; and, for little ones, a ride to school in a fire engine.
“We’ve been incredibly blessed sponsorship-wise this year,” said Heather Cunningham, who is chairing the auction this year. “With all of the fabulous (auction-item) donations, I really feel like we’re going to hit” the fundraising goal.
As in years past, the event will also feature a fashion show starring senior girls from Celina High School modeling attire provided by area retailers.
A raffle will also be held for a pair of plant-filled pots being donated by the Celina Garden Club. The brunch will be catered by Joey Dawkins of Toasted Walnut Farms in Celina.
Burns attended her first Ladies Bruch & Auction in 2007.
“It was like a tea party to me,” she recalled. “The tables were (decorated) beautiful. They had wonderful things to auction off. I don’t even think I bid on anything that year; I was just overwhelmed.
“The atmosphere was so wonderful that every year after that I was like, ‘I have to go to the brunch.’ … Seeing the people who work [at the event], that’s why I wanted to become involved with C.A.R.E., because of all of the people who were behind it,” Burns said.
What the organization does to raise funds for Celina ISD, she said, “It’s not easy, and to see what these ladies put into this is just amazing.”