Local celebrities turn servers for benefit

Published: Aug. 17, 2009 at 1:36 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2009 at 1:26 AM CDT
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By Becky Graham - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - There are many charities battling for your money. So, how do you decide who to donate to?

"I just hope I don't spill anything on anybody or spill any water in their lap," U.S. Congressman Brad Ellsworth said.

Public servants turned servers for Tri-State Alliance's annual AIDS Holiday Project Benefit.

"It's a good cause to wipe out AIDS in this country and other countries," Ellsworth said.

The celebrity showing was a hit with attendees, and Tri-State chairman Wally Paynter said it was reflected in Sunday night's attendance.

"We have double our attendance this year, more than doubled it," Paynter said.

Paynter admits time are hard for smaller non-profits and said the only way for smaller organizations to get noticed is by being creative.

"We're being creative doing what we can to raise money in a unigue way, and this a great way to raise money inexpensively," Paynter said.

Supporter Kathy Erwin said she was drawn to the organization for another reason.

"It's very difficult to settle on something, but again, that personal connection," Erwin said. "The more local, the more contributor and givers can see what is happening with the money they're donating. I think that makes all the difference."

In fact, 100 percent of the money collected Sunday night will end up in the hands of 350 families affected by AIDS in time for Christmas.

"I think helping people with groceries who need it is a great way to make a difference for 330 families here in the Tri-State," Paynter said.

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