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Chamber $10k shared by Five

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May 01, 2017

One of the hardest things for the Garner Chamber of Commerce staff is find a name for its annual extravaganza.
The annual fund-raiser is a reverse raffle, an auction, a silent auction and a taste of the town.
“The best title might be party, but that hardly encompasses everything that we do,” said Neal Padgett, the Chamber president.
About 400 people attended the “party” on April 21 in the Wake Technical Community College Student Services Building. They gobbled down beef brisket, mac and cheese, chili, fried chicken, veggies, pasta, cheese cake, cookies and assorted other food as 15 area restaurants rolled down their finest dishes.
“If you went home hungry, it was certainly your own fault because there was food everywhere,” said the Chamber’s April Wall Wood. “Most people got lots of samples.”
Chaired by Chamber board member Doris Huebner with F&D Huebner/McDonald’s the event is the Chamber’s largest source of non-dues revenue.  The celebration has paid for landscaping, including repaving the parking lot, at the Chamber’s offices. Funds also are used to present programs like Broadway Voices, the annual economic development conference, business awards and other member benefits.
Almost 150 items went up for bid.  There were radio and television advertising packages, weekend getaways, fine jewelry, theater tickets, various catering packages and assorted other items.
The big attraction each year is the reverse raffle. 400 tickets are sold for $100 each and the numbers are tossed in a large tumbler.
One by one ticket numbers are selected, eliminating that ticket holder from the pursuit of the $10,000 grand prize.
There are twists along the way and this year the last five remaining ticket holders agreed to stop the elimination and share the $10,000.  Rich Barta, Buddy Gupton, Amanda Johnson, Mark Saad and Hannah Thompson each went home with $2,000.
To them, the best name of the event might have been “bonanza.”