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STORY TOOLS E-mail storyCommentsiPod friendlyPrinter friendlyMore Local News Police: 19-year-old stabbed victim in neckAgriboard still in planning stageCrime Beat, April 27 Share and Enjoy [?]Prime rib, fried shrimp and calf fries will be on the menu, but the auction will be the big draw to the 41st annual North Texas Rehabilitation Center Dinner and Auction at the Multi-Purpose Events Center tonight.The event will be the culmination of a series of auctions for the rehabilitation center this month.

The center conducted a live TV auction earlier in the month that raised more than $20,000 and this week livestock donated to the center was sold at sale barns in the region."Originally the fundraiser started as a livestock auction and the community was so interested that they would bring merchandise to the sale barn to be auctioned off," said Raymond Nipper, a member of the Elks Lodge 1105.

"It finally got so large we had to segregate the merchandise from the cattle."The Elks Lodge will provide the dinner."We get involved at the food level, and we go down and make dinner for about 800 people," Nipper said.Sponsors include United Supermarkets, Patterson Auto Group, First National Bank of Byers, Marini Services, the Wichita Falls Professional Fire Fighters and NTS.

Sponsors also donated all the items to be auctioned."This is one of the few fundraising events that every single item that we auction is donated," said Susan Knowles-Martin, director of marketing and development for the North Texas Rehabilitation Center.

"Our sponsors will cover every penny of our expenses.

All the money we raise goes to help people that otherwise couldn't afford help."Knowles-Martin said during 40 years of auctions, more than $6 million has been raised.She said about 100 items are set aside for the live auction and more than 200 in the silent auction.

The silent auction opens at 1 p.m.

and closes at 6:15 p.m.

Dinner begins at 5 p.m., and the live auction begins at 6:30 p.m.Since 1991, the center has had the Stanley Williamson Memorial Saddle.

It is customarily bought in honor of or in memory of someone for a $10,000 bid, and it is donated back to the center.

According to Knowles-Martin, last year it sold nine times.

For each sale, a name plate is affixed to the saddle with the person's name it was bought for."It's the second saddle.

The first was retired in 2008 with 49 names on it," she said.She thinks the saddle will end the auction with 60 names on it this weekend.Some of the items featured in the live auction include a five-night, four-day stay at Santa Fe Casita, Texas Rangers tickets, several hunting trips, art work and handmade jewelry."Our hope is to top a quarter of a million dollars, which we have done the last two years," Knowles-Martin said.Nipper said the event raised $292,000 last year."We appreciate and could not put this event on without our loyal donors and supporters, who, no matter how bad the economy is, have been loyal to us and allow us to keep our mission alive," Knowles-Martin said.The mission of the rehabilitation center is to provide quality medical and educational rehabilitation services to children and adults with disabilities in north Texas and southern Oklahoma.

It has been serving the area for 61 years.Comments There are no comments yet.

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