Plans are underway for an elegant evening of entertainment and enticing foods as well as great auction items. The Valentine Gala and Auction to benefit Bethlehem House is coming up soon. Last year’s event was a sell-out and this year will be better in every way. Shelter Development Coordinator Jill Imboden says, "We will have more live and silent auction items. And this year’s auction promises to be very entertaining with Craig O’Neill from KTHV on Channel 11 serving as auctioneer."

Homeless Shelter Executive Director Judi Lively says, "Donating auction items is a great way for local businesses to show off the goods and services they offer."

Imboden says, "Currently, Bethlehem House supporters are approaching area businesses and corporations for sponsorships that come with tables for eight. Anyone interested in a table sponsorship can contact the administrative office at 501-205-0905. Individual tickets are selling very well and are available on the website or at the shelter for $25."

The Valentine Gala is a great opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and dessert catered by David and Patti Stobaugh, owners of local eatery favorites Stoby’s and pattiCakes Bakery.

"The Gala is a beautiful night out, a perfect date night. The purpose of the evening is to bring together community members who share a sense of wanting to support a cause that is designed to impact our own neighbors. Bethlehem House is an organization that focuses on being a hand up to those in need and the proceeds from the Gala support the day to day process that makes it happen," Board Chair Aimee Prince stated.

Imboden says, "The Gala is extremely important because it is our major fundraiser to supply Operation Funds at the shelter."

Lively added, "Our recent Capital Campaign has caused our Operation Fund to suffer. And the weak economy has caused overall giving to be down. That combination means the funds that supply the day to day expenses of the shelter are also down. That makes this a very important event for the shelter."

The Gala and Auction will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, at oneChurch. The Church is located at 1073 Front St. in Conway, just across the street from the former Log Cabin Democrat building. Tickets are $25 each and normally sell quickly. Tickets are available at Bethlehem House 930 Faulkner St. Tickets may be purchased in advance using Paypal on the shelter’s website at www.bethlehemhouse.net.