story and photos by Michael Tilley
Around 300 gathered Saturday night (April 5) for the 20th annual Wine & Roses event at the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith to help meet a fundraising goal of $135,000.
Deborah and Scott Clark served as event chairs, and Deborah said sponsorships generated $76,500 prior to the event, with an art and wine auction expected to help reach the goal. She said the 2013 auction raised more than $33,000. She said every dollar helps support the unique mission of the support house.
“One of the main things to remembers is that this house provides so many different things … it provides such a wide array of services and that’s why it has so much appeal,” Deborah Clark explained.
The Reynolds Cancer Support House provides free services and support for patients fighting cancer.
“The House is a haven where patients join others to accomplish a shared goal–survivorship,” notes the facility website.
During 2013, the facility registered 579 new patients and logged more than 5,000 visits with cancer patients, their families and other supporters. Part of the work included $9,200 in utility and prescription assistance to cancer patients. Also in 2013 the facility staff and volunteers conducted 11 specialized support groups each week.
Other services provided by the facility include wigs, hats, cosmetology services, emergency financial assistance, exercise, craft classes and lending library. The facility also is the largest free-standing cancer support provider in the U.S.
Father and son, respectively, Jim and Michael Hadley served as the guest auctioneers in the live wine auction. The auction featured several expensive brands of wine and liquor. Funds were also raised through a drawing for a ladies Rolex watch, donated by Newton's Jewelers. Artists featured included Peter Lippincott, Greg Palmer, Lynn Snyder, Bob Snider and Todd Whetstine.
Deborah Clark said the artists split evenly the proceeds from their art sold, which Clark said is a "very generous" contribution by each artist to the event.
The 2014 Wine & Roses Committee was comprised of: Deborah & Scott Clark, event chairs; Aimee Arzoumanian, Michelle Butler, Sondi Catsavis, Lady Jane Cohen, Max Correll, Rosabla de Mondesert, Barbara Diment, Jim Hadley, Michael Hadley, Teresa Keller, Debbie Andrews Kraus, Shane Lanning, Tony Leraris, Charles Logan, Liz Martin, Martha Pendleton, Betsy Robinson, Donny Rogers, Brooke & Steven Spradlin, and Jenny Thompson.