No Belle of the Ball will be crowned this year, as the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County has canceled its annual Charity Ball because of the pandemic.
Instead of hosting a large gathering with members of the community, the organization has switched gears with its biggest fundraising tradition of nearly 70 years and will instead hold an online “Signature Auction.”
The online silent auction will begin at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and close 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Carli Jones, co-chair of the event, said a live auction will take place 6-7 p.m. Saturday, on the nonprofit’s Facebook page, to highlight some of the “big ticket items” and encourage people to squeeze in last-minute bids.
The Junior League will also hold a raffle, and winners will be drawn during the live auction.
Jones said individuals, businesses and groups in Hall County donated items for the auction, including a Big Green Egg, a KitchenAid 24-inch wine cellar and a seven-night stay in Manciano, Italy.
What: Silent and live auction fundraiser to benefit the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County’s programs and its signature grant
When: Silent auction, noon Wednesday, Dec. 9 until 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; live auction, 6-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.
People can place their bids and view the auction and raffle items by visiting one.bidpal.net/signature2020.
“We just hope it exceeds everyone’s expectations,” Jones said. “I appreciate, and I know the rest of the Junior League appreciates, everyone’s support during this unprecedented time.”
Angie Kennedy, Junior League’s president, said every five years the nonprofit awards a “signature grant” to a different charity in the community. During this year’s Signature Auction, she said, a portion of the money raised will go to the 2021 grant recipient, as well as the Junior League’s various programs, like the Diaper Bank of North Georgia — which provides free diapers to families in need — and Done in a Day projects that help local nonprofits.
Applications have already closed for the signature grant. The recipient has yet to be announced.
Kennedy said the nonprofit aims to donate more than $50,000 for the grant, which has been collected through fundraising efforts, including the Charity Ball, over the past five years.
“I think everyone can agree that 2020 has been a challenging year in all aspects,” Kennedy said. “I’ve been really impressed with the Junior League members and how they’ve taken these challenges and turned them into opportunities.”For questions about the virtual auction event, email the Junior League at firstname.lastname@example.org.