CLA-2019-Home-PremierSheltering Wings held its premier annual fundraising event Feb. 9 at the new Embassy Suites in Plainfield. This is the shelter’s largest fundraiser for the year and proved to be a successful evening.

The conference room was filled with a few hundred people who raised more than $75,000 to support the shelter. This year the shelter chose the theme of ‘Home.’

Sheltering Wings has been working 17 years in central Indiana to meet the needs of women and their dependent children trying to escape abuse. The shelter in Danville provides a safe, stable home and needed services to help victims.

Tom Zupancic served as master of ceremonies. Zupancic kept the audience actively involved as he also led the auction. He began the evening festivities by reminding guests that “financial support is critical to the mission of Sheltering Wings.”

He asked that everyone give as they could, and his request was wholeheartedly granted.

Donations were accepted through raffles, pulls, auctions and private gifts. A running total of monies received was continually counted on the screen so that guests could track the goal.

The live auction offered several experience packages for bidding. High bids were received for Pacers and Colts packages, but the highest earning bid went for dinner for eight at Prime 47. The winning bid brought in over $2,000.

Silent auction bids could be tracked on guests’ smart phones. As guests arrived they entered their information electronically and accessed the items they wanted to bid on.

The silent auction had a variety of baskets and goods donated by local businesses. There was sports memorabilia, wine baskets, pet gifts and art. Many gift baskets and specialty items were also available.

Board members and staff from Sheltering Wings gave moving speeches and expressed their gratitude for the community support.

Board member Kevin Carr spoke for a short time and presented information on the shelter.

“The theme of this evening is ‘Home’ and for most of us in this room, home instills a warm feeling, it pulls us in,” Carr said. “Home is not that way for everyone. In fact, for a lot of people, home triggers trauma. We exist to help those in need and our mission is critical.”

During this time, it was announced that Sheltering Wings will be expanding its services in 2019 to include servies for male victims of domestic abuse.

Cassie Mecklenberg, executive director of Sheltering Wings, wrapped up the staff comments.

“We are humbled by the community outpour,” she said. “We are thankful for your continued financial support, advocacy and volunteering. Thank you for all you do.”

After dinner, guests were treated to an acoustic concert by Josh Kaufman.

Kaufman was the season six winner of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014. He played a variety of songs from his time on the show including John Legend’s “All of Me.” He also played a song from his soon to be released album. Kaufman was joined on stage by television host Julia Moffit who asked the singer questions about his time on “The Voice” and life after winning.

“The show was a great opportunity and being from the Indianapolis area really helped me because the people here care,” Kaufman said. “If I had been from a small town, I wouldn’t have had the support or if I had been from a really big town, like New York, people just don’t care. Being from here really helped because Indiana people care.”

Before the end of the night, the goal of raising $75,000 was surpassed. As of Feb. 11, the final amount had not been released because the silent auction and private donations were still being received.

“I cannot say thank you enough,” Mecklenberg said. “We are so grateful for the way the community has rallied around us and how amazing they have been and continue to be in supporting us. We are so thankful to everyone. This community has allowed us to both meet today’s immediate need and plan for the future need. I simply cannot say thank you enough.”

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