More than 200 people gathered on Tuesday for “Celebrate Hope,” a fundraising event honoring 30 years of Buckner Children and Family Services working with children and families in East Texas. Presented by Texas Bank and Trust, the dinner, silent auction and live auction raised $319,000, which will directly support Buckner programs in the region.
Following the dinner was a live auction, which drew competitive bidding from guests. Highlights from the auction included a private dinner prepared by Chef Stephan Pyles, suite tickets to Elton John’s farewell tour, a diamond bracelet from Vahan Jewelry, several vacation and outdoor adventure packages, and an original acrylic and oil painting from mother-daughter artists Lisha and Alex Mack.
“We are so pleased by the turnout for ‘Celebrate Hope’ last night,” said Buckner Longview Executive Director Shelly Smith, who offered the evening’s closing remarks. “In addition to the support from Texas Bank and Trust, we are grateful for all the auction items donated to the event from a long list of families, companies and organizations who have been instrumental to our success for 30 years in East Texas.”
The evening also included remarks from Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International; Rodney Henry, past chair of the Buckner International Board of Trustees; and Rogers Pope Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Texas Bank and Trust and a volunteer with Buckner.
Buckner Longview has a variety of programs in East Texas that serve vulnerable children and families. These programs include foster care and adoption, the Buckner Family Hope Center, Buckner Family Pathways, and Project HOPES.
In addition to services for children and families, Buckner Retirement Services operates Buckner Westminster Place. The senior living community celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year.