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New GCHA event its way of saying 'thanks'

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 9:00 a.m. CDT

Grundy County Housing Authority supporters will be rockin' to the oldies at the Harvest Dinner and Show Nov. 8.

This first-time event for the GCHA is its way of giving back.

"This is a way to say thank you to the community," said Brent Newman, executive director.

And what better time to show appreciation than around Thanksgiving and harvest time, said Jennifer Olson, vice president of development.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Morris VFW, 309 McKinley Street. Everyone is invited; tickets are $30 each or $25 for groups of two or more. Tickets must be purchased in advance by Nov. 5 and will not be available at the door.

Tickets can be purchased online at, at Strawberry Plant Boutique at 113 W. Washington St. in Morris, or by calling the GCHA at (815) 942-6198, ext. 4100.

Dinner will be catered by Maria's Ristorante of Morris and entertainment provided by Elvis and Cher (well, there impersonators that is). The impersonators are from Valentine Sound and Entertainment of Hickory Hills.

"We want it to be fun so they get something out of it other than just dinner . . . so they'll want to come back to the next one and have a good time," said Olson.

In addition to showing their supporters appreciation, the dinner will have a pumpkin raffle to raise money for the Shabbona Middle School art classes.

Dollinger Family Farm donated 50 pumpkins for the event, which are being painted by the art students. Tickets for the decorated pumpkins will be $5. Then 50 tickets will be pulled and the winners will pick which pumpkin they want.

The students are painting fall themes on the pumpkins including leaves, tree branches and grape vines, said art teacher Joy Hartshorn.

"They've had some fun with it," she said.

Hartshorn was willing to do the project with her students right away and then was told the extra bonus that proceeds of the raffle would go to her classroom.

"I was just delighted," she said.

The pumpkin raffle tickets will be the only thing sold at the event, said Olson, because the goal of event is appreciation not fundraising.

For a portion of the event, awards will be given to specific individuals and businesses that have gone above and beyond to help the GCHA.

"They will hear incredible stories about some amazing people," said Newman.

For more information on the Grundy County Housing Authority or to donate visit


Appreciation awards to be given:

Employees-Choice-Award:Susan McDaniel

Builder-Award: RE/MAX Top Properties and Muffler Concrete

Home Maker Award: Rezin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Helping-Hands-Award: Thee Rivers Association of Realtors

Outstanding Partnership Corporate: Quality Inn Morris

Outstanding Partnership Individual: The Ben and Jennifer Price Family

Outstanding Partnership Nonprofit: Community Nutrition Network

CEO-Award: First Midwest Bank

Chairmans-Award: AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry LLC

Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth R. Pfeifer

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