Marietta resident Sherry Hill was pleased to purchase another stained glass work by Washington County Commissioner Steve Weber at the 29th annual EVE Benefit Auction Friday, but she was even happier about where the money was going.
"EVE is such an important organization," said Hill, 55. "When children and women ... are in fear, it's so important that they have somewhere safe to go."
The annual auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year for EVE Inc., which provides shelter and services for those affected by domestic violence. More than 200 people attended Friday's event at the Lafayette Hotel, which included both silent and live auctions.
"They seemed to be very lively, very competitive, lots of good prices," auction co-chairwoman Molly Varner said of the silent auction items.
The liveliness carried over into the live auction, where a pair of plates framed by stained glass made by Weber were an early popular item.
Hill said she and her husband, Mike, purchased one last year and have it hanging in their house.
Friend of EVE - Juanita Lannigan, owner, Smitty's Pizza.
Employee of the Year - Esther Carpenter, transitional housing coordinator.
Volunteer of the Year - Zonta Club of Marietta.
"I've been messing around with stained glass ... probably 20 years or better," Weber said.
Weber said he starts with the plate, then makes a stained glass pattern around it, never doing it exactly the same way twice. He said he's happy to provide the items for the auction because of the valuable services offered by EVE.
EVE co-director Annelle Edwards said the auction is a great example of the support the community provides to the organization and without which it could not survive. But she noted that assistance isn't limited to the one event.
"The community really supports us all year with donations," she said.
A total amount raised was not immediately available Friday night, but the auction usually brings in about $25,000. That money is used to meet needs that EVE's grant funding doesn't cover. A roof repair is high on the list for this year, Edwards said.
The auction also provides an opportunity for EVE to recognize individuals and groups that assist the organization throughout the year.
Smitty's Pizza owner Juanita Lannigan was named the Friend of EVE for her willingness to provide food for activities. The cost of food is not always covered by grant funding, Edwards said.
"She's always there to donate," Edwards said. "She never says no."
The Zonta Club of Marietta was chosen as Volunteer of the Year. EVE board member Don Kirby noted members of the group help with fundraising events like Chocolate on the Levee and Divas and Deals and wrap presents for EVE's annual Christmas party.
"It is committed volunteers like those at Zonta that have made EVE the strong organization it is today," he said.