The “Spirit of Cleveland” was augmented with some Cajan spice Friday evening as the Rotary Club of Cleveland held its annual “Carnival of Giving.”
Rotarians and their guests filled the Museum Center at Five Points as they were greeted by the sounds of jazz provided by the Ben Frieberg Trio.
Along the way to their New Orleans-laced menu, those in attendance were able to take notice of the many items that were available to be claimed if their luck at one of two auctions proved to be that of winning.
More than 60 items ranging from dinners to jewelry to trips were made available for the event by area businesses and individuals.
The club uses the carnival as its major fundraising event each year.
In the past, proceeds have been used to assist local entities which aid in the betterment of health and living for area citizens.
Among those that have benefitted from the Rotarians efforts are Bradley County Youth Basketball, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Habitat for Humanity, the Family Kitchen and the United Way of Bradley County.
Last year’s event raised more than $67,000 and the expectations are the final count from this year will exceed that amount.
Rotary Club President Pam Nelson said it was “a very exciting event.”
“What we raise here tonight will be well spent in our community,” Nelson said.
Sponsors of the event included Gold Friends of Rotary — Adman Electric, Inc., Athens Federal Community Bank, Bank of Cleveland, Brown Stove Works, Inc., Carroll & Green Real Estate/USA Mortage, First Tennessee Bank, Garden Plaza/Life Care of Cleveland, Hardee’s/J&S Restaurants, Inc., Medical Specialties, Ocoee Oral Surgery/Dr. Paul McCord, DDS, Pioneer Credit, Ralph Buckner Funeral Home, and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Silver Friends of Rotary included Don and Lil Harting, Bilbo Law Office, Jenne, Scott, Jenne, PLLC, People for Care and Learning, Southern Heritage Bank, Water & Waste Management, Inc., William J. Brown & Associates and Wholesale Supply Group.
Bronze Friends of Rotary for the event were Alan Colloms Plumbing, Ann and Mac McCoin, Check Into Cash/Jones Management, Doctor’s Express, Elect Steve Crump for District Attorney, FSG Bank, Jack Milne, Lillios Family, Ocoee Insurance Services, State Rep. Kevin Brooks, Tim and Cindy Spires, Tri-Con Construction and Vote Steven Hatchett for District Attorney.
Committee members who helped plan the event were Chairman Kim Casteel, Matt Brown, Bill Brown, Terry Buckner, David Carroll, James Cogdill, Cason Conn, Paul Delliger, Mike Griffin, Lil Harting, Jeremy Henderson, Carolyn Ingram, Sheryl Jaggers, Derrick Kinsey, Hazel Kay, Esmerelda Lee, Patrick Long, Paul McCord, Hassan Najjar, Pam Nelson, Peggy Pesterfield, Julia Scoggins, Ross Tarver, Aaron Weatherford and Byron Winters.