By all accounts, the first Denim and Diamonds dinner and auction to benefit the Saline County Fairground was a success.
"I was very pleased overall," said Jill Lilleman, one of the event coordinators.
According to unofficial results, about 194 tickets were sold for the dinner and fundraiser. Proceeds will be used for improvements to the bath and shower house on the fairground.
The auction and silent auction brought in approximately $11,000, while a raffle for a gun brought in $1,660. Another raffle for baskets donated by the local 4-H and FFA chapters garnered $1,440. "We heard comments on the meal, on the setup, on the atmosphere, and on the auction itself," said Lilleman, adding there was a variety of age groups present. "It appeared to me everybody was busy and having a good time."
Proceeds from ticket sales won't be known until all the bills are paid, but organizers were very pleased with the first-time effort.
"When you look at fundraisers and ways to come up with money to take care of obligations out there, I think this was as good an idea as any, probably better than most," said Sam Igo, president of the Saline County Fair Board Association.
The fair board will soon be deciding how to proceed on the bathroom renovations.
"We're probably going to have to take a hard look at these restrooms and see whether it is feasible to remodel them inside or whether we would be better off just to remodel them from scratch," Igo said. "A contractor or somebody in that business would have to make that decision."
The answer to that question will also determine when they will be able to start on updates. Igo said they would probably need to hold the dinner and auction again next year, in order to come up with all the money needed for renovations.
"I think the plan is to try to do it again and make it better," he said.
As a first-time effort, Igo was very pleased with fundraiser.
"You never know how it is going to be," he said, praising Lilleman and the other organizers, for making it a success. "I think the community supported it really well, and that sure made me proud."