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OTC Foundation 2nd Annual Gritz & Glitz Gala A Success

The 2nd annual Gritz & Glitz Gala was a memorable, glitzy occasion as 163 people gathered at the Okefenokee Golf and Country Club on June 6, 2009, for an evening of fun to benefit Okefenokee Technical College students and programs.

In keeping with the theme, guests wore “gritz” (casual) or “glitz” (black tie) and everything between. The entertainment began at 7 p.m. with the light-hearted humor of Tony Batten, the emcee of the evening, as he began the countdown to determine the grand prize winner. In addition to consolation prizes for ticket holders, door prizes were awarded, as well. Ninety-five tickets were drawn from the tumbler with Curtis Brantley’s card drawn last, making him the grand prize winner of $5,000 cash.

Guests bid on silent auction items and live auction items. In addition, many gala attendees bought a chance on a couple of 22 riffles and a football helmet signed by Ware County’s own Leotis McKelvin who was drafted 11th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2008 NFL draft. The winner of the football helmet, donated by Robbie Roberson Ford, was Tony Tanner, a former Ware County football player and teammate to McKelvin in 2004. Heyward Clarke won the Mossberg 702 Plinkster 22 caliber long rifle donated by Farmers and Merchants Bank of Homerville, and Dr. Craig Kubik won the Remington 597 rifle donated by Waycross Bank & Trust.

The highest bidder of the jewelry pieces donated by Steel’s Jewelry of Valdosta was Linda Jones, also of Valdosta. As highest bidder, Mrs. Jones was allowed to choose among three gorgeous diamond pieces, each valued at $1,000 or more. She chose the two-tone multisquare pendant necklace as her prize selection.

Rhonda and the Relics played a wide selection of familiar tunes that had guests dancing until close to midnight. Elvis (Mark Mooneyhan) brought lots of smiles and laughs when he serenaded John Thomas, responsible agent for Tommy Nimmer.

Jessie Lanier was the winner of the Ritz in the Gritz game in which guests were asked to check inside their gritz bag (event favor) for a special token. Ms. Lanier’s bag had a large faux diamond, making her the winner of an overnight stay at The Inn at the Blueberry Plantation Golf & Country Club. Her package included lunch for two and a $100 gift certificate to Merle Norman of Waycross.

George & Linda Martin were the winners of the $50 gift card to J. Green & Company, and John Messmer of Lowe’s was the winner of “Dinner for Two” at Blueberry Hill, compliments of Qantum Communications. Various other gifts were awarded, including metal artwork designed by the OTC welding program.

Silent auction items valued at $500 or more included a hunting trip, queen size mattress set, rejuvenation & tanning treatments, side of beef, oil painting by Rachel Settle, & gift certificates to Vein Specialist of South Georgia. Another popular silent auction item was a $200 gift certificate to Crawford’s Jewelers.

Live auction items valued at $1,000 or more included two vacation packages –6 nights at a resort on Cocoa Beach and 6 nights at a resort in Fairway Forest at Sapphire Valley, NC.; skin & body treatments (including fraxel - skin resurfacing/tightening) for a youthful look; and choice of a $1,000 gift card or diamond jewelry to Steel’s Jewelry. Other popular live auction items included 3 nights at a North Carolina Mountain House with a view of waterfalls, side of beef, and “Dinner for 4 Under the Stars in Downtown Waycross at the Gazebo” (catered by KD’s Café).

The gritz & glitz occasion raised over $17,000 which will help promote technical education and workforce development by providing scholarships and resources for OTC students and programs.

OTC Foundation trustees and OTC President Gail Thaxton, along with the foundation director, Cindy Tanner, wish to thank gala donors, auction and door prize donors, event volunteers, guests, and everyone who purchased tickets and supported the auctions and other activities. Photos and a complete list of sponsors can be found at www.okefenokeetech.edu (click 2009 Gala). A special thanks goes to the following supporters:

Diamond Sponsors: CSX, John & Debra Downs, IPG Architects of Valdosta, Jeannetta Design Associates, Satilla Regional Medical Center, Satilla REMC, and Wade & Rosemary Strickland.

Emerald Sponsors: Alma Telephone Company (ATC), Bacon County Hospital, BB&T, Bennett Insurance, Ray & Danita Cannon, Copper Construction, Ellis, Ricket and Associates, First National Bank South of Alma, Georgia Power, Miles-Odum Funeral Home, Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce,  PrimeSouth Bank, Siemens, South Georgia Realty of Folkston (Marion Davis), and Billy & Gail Thaxton.

Diamond Auction Donors: Camp Branch Farms, Ray & Danita Cannon, Qantum Communications of SE GA, Simmons Manufacturing Company, Southeast Laser & Plastic Surgery, Steel’s Jewelry in Valdosta, and Billy  & Gail Thaxton.

Emerald Auction Donors: Color Me Ageless, Tommy Nimmer, Paintings by Rachel, Robbie Roberson Ford, Vein Specialists of South Georgia, and Edwin L. Williams, Jr.

Major Underwriting Sponsors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company, local media, Lowes, Okefenokee Country Club, and Yarbrough’s Office Products & Printing.

Photo  - 1:
Curtis Brantley (center) was the winner at the Gritz & Glitz Gala and is shown here accepting the $5,000 ceremonious grand prize check from OTC President Gail Thaxton (right) and OTC Foundation Director Cindy Tanner. Brantley was not present for the drawing Saturday night, but was all smiles when he picked up his “real” check for $5,000 at OTC on Tuesday.

Photo – 2
Tony Batten entertained guests at the gala with his wit and charm as he eliminated ticket holders from the participation board.

Photo – 3
“Elvis” made a surprise appearance at the Saturday evening event and caused quite a ruckus.

Photo – 4
OTC President Gail Thaxton and radiologic technology instructor Brent Clemmer are shown taking a break from drawing names from the ticket tumbler.

Photo – 5
Three of the four finalists for the $5,000 prize are shown discussing their options. John Thomas (left), responsible agent for Andy & Teresa Stone, and Richard Henderson (right) argue for “all or nothing,” while Dr. Craig Kubik (center) voted to split the loot. Austin Johnson (not shown), agent for Curtis Brantley, waited quietly for them to come to a consensus.



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