Saturday evening, more than 300 guests attended the Rim Country Hospice Foundation's annual dinner, dance and auction a Mardi Gras-themed evening, complete with masks, beads and Cajun cuisine.
The Hospice Foundation normally raises $30,000 to $40,000money foundation leaders plan to use to build a Hospice House where families can spend quality time with their terminally ill loved ones.
And now, thanks to two large, last-minute donations, the Hospice House is much closer to reality. The foundation is closing a deal on five acres of land near Frontier Elementary School.
Some of Payson's biggest philanthropists turned out for the gala event, from brothers Tim and Mike Armstead, who allowed the foundation to use their Exclusive Refinishing business for the auction, to Jim Spencer of Arizona Public Service, who lit up the night with temporary street lights.
And, of course, there were hundreds of guests who opened their wallets right and left to grab up the goodies collected for the auction.
The real stars of the evening, though, turned out to be two guests who got caught up in the cause two guests who, in the midst of the Mardi Gras madness, took a moment to remember what the evening was all about.
Steve Rogers of the Rock Yard announced amid the bidding that he will donate all of the block work needed for the Hospice House.
Immediately following the auction, Blair Meggitt of Apex Land Surveying volunteered to donate all the surveying needed for the five-acre parcel.
The generosity of these two gentlemen, and all the guests at Mardi Gras, will ensure that the foundation's Hospice House will be completed much sooner than expected, and will open in time to help more families through some of their darkest hours.
Foundation leaders are still in need of certain donations and volunteers to make their Hospice House dream a reality. Anyone who would like to make a donation or volunteer their services can call Kathleen Hughes at 472-8220.