HIGH COUNTRY — As previously announced, Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina is moving forward with its largest annual fundraiser in a virtual way on Aug. 20. However, the online auction portion of the event will begin at noon on Aug. 14.

This theme for this year’s event, “Hope Survives,” speaks directly to the challenges and obstacles facing the homeless, hungry and impoverished individuals and families that rely on the programs and services of Hospitality House.

The wine social and silent auction had become a much looked-forward-to staple of the annual Hope Luncheon in years past. This year, the silent auction transforms to an online auction that will be open for a full week beginning at noon on Aug. 14 and run through noon on Aug. 20.

There are almost 225 items to bid on, with a total value that exceeds $65,000. The auction’s spotlight item is a mint-condition 1967 Plymouth Belvedere with 28,000 original miles, a new Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor and headers, white-letter tires and a new paint job.

Hospitality House Executive Director Tina B. Krause said, “You always hear about the car for sale that was only driven to church, the doctor’s office and the drug store by a little old lady. Well, this is that car.”

Featured auction items include one-week stays at Holden Beach and Ocean Isle, Biltmore Estate weekend getaways for two, custom-painted leather jacket by Los Angeles actress Fileena Bahris, Couture Blackglama floor-length mink, signed 1970s era Robert Mize dulcimer, Pampered Chef packages, Man Crates and a private Italian dinner party for eight.

To support local businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hospitality House board of directors and ladies auxiliary, Hearts of Hospitality House, fanned out across the High Country and purchased jewelry, golf outings, gift cards and hundreds of items to fill nearly 100 luxury gift baskets, adventures and excursions to be auctioned.

“Ultimately, we saw this as an opportunity to give back to a community that’s always been so supportive, while continuing to raise money for our mission,” said Hospitality House Director of Development Todd Carter. “We are fortunate to have such amazingly giving board and Hearts members to make all of this possible.”

The online auction is available for preview and can be accessed by clicking to www.hosphouse.org/auction or https://hosphouse.betterworld.org/auctions/hope-luncheon.

Community members may RSVP at www.hosphouse.org/hope for the ‘Hope Survives” Virtual Event, airing at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20 on Facebook Live, YouTube Live and HospHouse.org. Those who RSVP will receive a follow-up email reminder with links to the broadcast. The virtual program will feature staff and volunteer highlights, COVID-19 response updates; as well as, the client testimonials of resilience, hope renewal that the luncheon has become known for.

“We are excited to continue our tradition-rich event, expanding it beyond previous capacity,” Krause added. “We hope that lots of people logon to the auction, there is something for everyone, and tune-in for the event later this month.”

Individuals who are unable to attend but would like to support the needs of their fellow community members living in homelessness, hunger and poverty can donate online at www.hosphouse.org/hope or mail a check w/ “hope survives” in the memo line, to Hospitality House c/o Todd Carter P.O. Box 309 Boone, NC 28607

Anyone inquiring about the event or in need of additional information is encouraged to email Carter at todd@hosphouse.org.

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