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HARTSVILLE, S.C. _ After the bidding stopped Feb. 1 at the 27th annual auction of the Women’s League of Hartsville, the event had netted $16,000 for its selected charities. The event was held at the Hartsville Country Club with the theme “Viva Hartsvegas!” Mayor Mel Pennington and Lenora Lefew served as master and mistress of ceremonies.
The auction was started by league member Carla Dunton and her husband, Dr. Don Dunton, as a means for the organization to give back to the community through local charities. Carla Dunton served as this year’s honorary auction chair.
On Monday night, the league met at the Midnight Rooster Courtyard & Eatery to announce the amount raised by the auction and to present checks to this year’s benefactors, the CareFIRST Carolina Foundation’s Miles of Smiles mobile dental program and the YMCA of the Upper Pee Dee.
Miles of Smiles was the major benefactor, receiving $12,500, the most the organization has ever raised for a single charity from the auction, said Maria Jones, president and auction co-chair. The YMCA’s children’s room received a check for $3,500.
“It was a fantastic auction,” Jones said. “It was our best year yet financially.”
One item that auctioned for top dollar was a catered event for 20 on the rooftop of the Malloy Law Office building. Another was a Big Green Egg smoker/grill.
Another attention grabber was a bid for the opportunity to choose the color of Dr. Sean Boynes’ Mohawk-style hair. The highest bidder got to choose the color he would dye his hair. Boynes is the dentist with Miles of Smiles. He attended Monday’s check presentation, good-naturedly sporting an orange-colored Mohawk hairstyle. Boynes said this was a first for him and would probably be the last time he would auction off the opportunity to pick his hair color.
He did, however, say he was glad to be part of the process to help raise funds for Miles of Smiles.
The contribution from the Women’s League was huge for his program, he said.
“I could not overstate the importance of this for us,” he said. “It allows us to offset some of the cost so that every child (in Darlington County) can have dental care.”
Boynes takes his mobile dental clinic into Darlington County schools to provide onsite dental service for children who don’t have a dentist or can’t afford one. They are able to clean teeth, add fillings and other dental services.
“What we are learning about the dental needs of these children are so much more than we thought,” said Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina. “Some of them have never had a toothbrush. Many times their school absences are due to toothaches.”
Through the Miles of Smiles dental program, Lewis said they are able to have great impact on the lives of some of these children.
“This man (Dr. Boynes) has made a huge difference in some of these kids’ lives,” Lewis said.
When the amount of the contribution was announced Monday night, Lewis said that they hadn’t imagined it would be that much. She said they might have to rethink how it will be used.
She said this amount could enable them to add staff or equipment to the mobile unit.
The YMCA will use its funds to renovate the children’s room at the YMCA.
Terrie Reames said they hope to paint the room, add new supplies and games and technology to the six-year-olds’ room.
Reames said they were very excited to have been chosen a beneficiary of the Women’s League’s fundraiser.
Auction co-chair with Jones was Tiffany Wilson, vice president.
Junior chairs were Laura Dostert, treasurer; Ashley Johnson, secretary and Brittany Caddell, second vice president.
The Women’s League of Hartsville meets the first Wednesday of each month and is open to all women who work or reside in the Hartsville area.