About a year ago, Shelby Gardner, who is now a 17-year-old senior at Warren High School, approached her parents Chad and Marissa Gardner with her desire to raise funds to go to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder department at the Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Little Rock. Shelby's idea was to host a dessert auction to raise funds for care packages for veterans suffering from this disorder. With the support of her parents, Shelby began organizing the auction by signing up donors to give desserts and even some to make cash contributions. This normally quiet and reserved young lady, stepped out of her comfort zone and spoke to civic clubs about her project. She sought the support of the local veterans groups, contacted Mike Nichols to serve as auctioneer, and worked to gather a crowd for the silent and live auction.
The event was held in the fellowship hall of Shelby's church, Central Missionary Baptist on Saturday, August 20. When all the proposed bidders arrived, there was standing room only. The room was filled with sweet savory aromas of honey bun cakes, peanut butter cakes, apple and cherry pies, cream cheese strawberry cake, and more. The auction was made fun by the auctioneer and bidders proved willing to spend for a great cause. When the final bid was cast, Shelby had raise $8040.00.
|There was standing room only at the Dessert Auction Saturday morning.|
But hold on. She isn't through yet. Shelby will be at the Bradley County fair selling pulled pork sandwiches to continue to raise money for the veterans.
Her mother, Marissa Gardner, sent this thank you out to all who helped make this worthy cause a great success, "Shelby came to us with an idea a year ago. We started small and her desire for helping those in need only grew larger. Today, we held a Dessert Auction for the Veteran's Memorial Hospital, PTSD Department, in the hopes of raising $1,000. We raised over $8,000. This absolutely would not have been possible without many wonderful people who donated baked goods, everyone who came to our exciting auction, and our great Auctioneer, Mike Nichols. Mike made sure all of the baked goods were sold at fair prices. Shelby's dream came true and everybody's generosity has blown her away and greatly humbled my family. Thank you so very much for your support. We appreciate each and every person that has reached out and helped in every way. "
With sincere gratitude,
Chad, Marisa, Shelby & Dayton Gardner
|Left to Right: Shelby's idea was supported by her whole family. Her father, Chad Gardner and brother Dayton listen as auctioneer Mike Nichols works the crowd to get top dollar for the cause.|