CUSTER COUNTY—Maybe it was something in the air or maybe Custer County residents truly know how to give back to their own community. More than $144,000 was raised at the December 9 Custer County Foundation Gala and Auction. The One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow hosted hundreds of residents from throughout the county.
The thirteenth annual event brought in a record amount of donations. Foundation Executive Director Lindsay Divan told KCNI/KBBN that the last record number was reported in 2015 with $134,000 collected.
Divan began working with the foundation in September 2014. She is excited to see numbers back up and said this year’s gala has been her favorite thus far.
“I’m always amazed at how generous Custer County is. The energy in the room was different than it has been in the past and that was really fun to experience,” Divan said.
During the live auction, the nativity set was donated back into the live auction seven times! Divan said she has never seen that before: “It was really fun to watch. I felt like I couldn’t stop smiling, I was just kind of in disbelief,” she said.
Proceeds from the gala and auction will be given back to Custer County in the form of grants for charitable organizations and scholarships.
The foundation awarded approximately $75,000 in grants during 2017 and hopes to increase that number in the new year.
“I’m just excited to see the number that we’re going to be able award in grants for 2018 and just have an even bigger impact on the organizations who are out there doing all this great work and just trying to raise money so that they can keep supporting the county and all the services that they provide and make Custer County a better place to live,” Divan said.
Divan said the annual event is a huge part in making the foundation’s impact possible, and would not be possible without the great board and support staff.