Combined Community Services holding gala on Saturday

By: Ben Quiggle Email
By: Ben Quiggle Email

WARSAW, Ind.--- A Kosciusko County organization that helps lower income individuals reach self-sufficiency is throwing a gala to benefit the many programs they operate.

Combined Community Services (CCS) is hosting its third annual Blue Jeans & BBQ Gala on July 26 from 7-11 p.m. in Spring Fountain Park, in the Village at Winona.

The gala includes a BBQ Cook-off with five local “chefs”, including Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.

The gala will also feature auction and prize items from Chapman Jewelers, Orange Door Dental, Sorg Jewelers, a grill sponsored by Ace Hardware of Warsaw, Notre Dame football tickets, Colts tickets, a weekend getaway at Oakwood Resort, Bucket 'O Brew by Kosciusko Kettleheads, autographed sheet music from Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearword, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, autographed 11x17 photos from One Direction, Duck Dynasty Cast, The Bush Family and Johnny Depp.

The signature live auction item will be a 6 night Marco Island vacation and yacht cruise for 6 hosted by Dana & Mary Louise Miller.

There will be live music presented by The Bekah Bradley Band from 9-11 p.m., along with a cash bar.

All proceeds from the event will benefit CCS and the programs they run to help clients become more self-sufficient.

Stephen Possell, Executive Director at CCS, said they have been an important part of the community for 30 years now.

CCS believes in the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors,” and they try to focus on making clients more self-sufficient.

CCS runs Kosciusko County’s largest food pantry, as well as providing a clothing pantry, utility assistance programs, and events like Tools for School, that helps children prepare for the school year.

“We are trying to get people out of poverty, trying to give them a hand up instead of a hand out,” said Possell. “We want to get these people to move on with educational and vocational goals, and we try to get them out of rough situations.”

The benefits of these programs are evident when you talk to volunteer Jerry Holloway.

He was jobless after 36 years because the plant he worked at closed a few years ago.

CCS helped him develop a resume, and supported him while he searched for a new job.

He found one, and was a custodian for Warsaw Community Schools until he retired last year.

Now he volunteers at the place that helped him out in his time of need.

“I enjoy seeing the appreciation people feel when they receive food and clothing from CCS,” said Holloway. “It makes me feel good that I can help other people out.”

It’s all the result of an organization that tries to empower the people they serve.

Tickets for the gala or concert can still be purchased.

Tickets for the gala cost $50 per person.

Tickets for only attending the concert are $10.

You can also vote for your favorite chef with a $5 donation.

To find more information click here

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