With nearly a week to go before the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center's annual Cake Auction, organizers are hard at work preparing for what they call an important fundraiser.
The 18th annual Cake Auction will be held April 20 at the Webster County Fairgrounds.
Brenda McBride, D/SAOC's program development director, said the Cake Auction is the biggest fundraiser for the center.
"It's both a live auction and a silent auction," she said. "It's a way to reach out to the community and allow them to have a good time while also benefiting D/SAOC."
All the items at the auction are donated by community members and local businesses, according to McBride.
"Every prize item is paired with a cake, which are also provided by community members," she said. "The cakes are our signature items."
This year's auction will have a few changes from previous years.
"We'll have a professional pianist who will be attending the auction," McBride said. "He will also be donating a three-hour entertainment session."
There will also be a Cake Walk.
"It's something fun we hope to get people of all ages engaged in, from children to adults," McBride said. "It also seems like we're having more getaway packages than we've had in the past, and will be auctioning off an ultimate bridal package."
In the past, the Cake Auction has been well-attended. According to McBride, last year's auction brought out more than 600 people.
"We have a lot of furniture items, many children's items, all different kinds of baskets from many different vendors," McBride said. "There's also lots of care packages and aquatic center memberships."
"You name it, we probably have it," she said.
Another part of the auction will be the raffling of an iPad 2. Tickets are available from staff members and volunteers through the night of the auction, according to McBride.
Because of budget issues impacting D/SAOC, McBride said this year's auction will be more important than previous ones.
"Like many other organizations, we're suffering from a budget crunch," she said. "Fundraising is our way of filling in those gaps. The Cake Auction has been our main fundraiser and is needed more than ever this year."
She added that the auction wouldn't happen without the work of many volunteers.
"We appreciate all of our volunteers, staff and everyone involved," she said. "From the auctioneers to the emcee to the catering and all the volunteers. It takes a very large team of help to make this happen, and we're blessed to have that."