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Fundraiser brings bayou to Gainesville
Randy Overdorff plays the tuba with the Fabulous Green Street Parade Dixieland Jazz Band during the "Boogie in the Bayou" party Saturday night. The event was a fundraiser for The Guest House Adult Day Health Services. - photo by Tom Reed

A taste of New Orleans was brought to Gainesville Saturday night at the second annual "Boogie in the Bayou."

At a fundraiser for Guest House Adult Day Health Services, and held at the Elks Lodge in Gainesville, it was a cajun-themed evening with music, food and a silent auction.

"We wanted a very fun, party-like event, and this is something no one else had done," said Guest House’s executive director Jocelyn Pryor.

The Guest House is an adult day health care center, located across from Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville, where the elderly can enjoy activities such as art, music and woodworking, said Dana Chapman, a Guest House board member.

In addition to the food and silent auction, the Gainesville-based Fabulous Green Street Parade Dixieland Jazz Band was the featured music of the evening. Up for bid were various gift baskets, a baseball signed by Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz and gift certificates to area businesses such as Luna’s.

Some of the evening’s attendees were Guest House staff members or volunteers.

Rita Harding, who is a registered nurse at the Guest House, said the "clients are spectacular," and that the staff there "feels likes a family. It feels like a homey atmosphere."

Volunteer Judy McNeilly said "the program is really good there." She enjoys the stories the clients tell her about their lives and their family.

"We have probably learned more from them then they have from us," she said.

Carol Jackson, who also works at the Guest House, said the best thing about the event was knowing that "our work is not in vain. We have people who support our cause."

Anybody who is interested in donating to the Guest House can send donations to: 320 Tower Heights Road, Gainesville, GA 30501.

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