ELKHART — The beer was cold, the food was tasty and three life-size elk statues raised a lot of money at the first Vines and Steins fundraiser for CAPS.
Nearly 400 people packed the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart on Friday, June 14, to support CAPS, a nonprofit organization that works prevent abuse and strengthen relationships among children and parents in Elkhart County.
CAPS events coordinator Stacey Anderson is still tallying up donations from the fundraiser, but she expects the total to top $400,000 raised through auctions and sponsorships.
“It was very successful, and we are very excited about the number of children we will be able to help because of this event and all of the people who came out to support CAPS,” Anderson said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better evening.”
Wine and brewery tours, lavish dinners, bottles of wine, international getaways and jewelry were among the prizes that were purchased in silent and live auctions at the fundraiser.
Continuing a tradition that started in 2011, a trio of beautifully painted elk statues were auctioned off to benefit CAPS’ programs and services. Of the three elk, “Elktoberfest” painted by Goshen dentist Whitney Richmond brought in the most money for CAPS. Kelly and Karen Rose won the statue, designed to look like a German beer stein, with a $42,000 bid.
“It was such a breathtaking view of Elkhart County’s generosity,” Anderson said.
An elk named “Seasons Through the Eyes of a Child” sold for $20,000 to Scott and Kim Welch. The statue was painted by Northridge Middle School art teacher Cari Patel and her students.
Bob and Terrie Rickel bought Wakarusa artist Diane Overmyer’s statue called “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” for $7,000.
CAPS is working with the new elk owners to figure out whether the statues will be displayed in public.
Truth managing editor Marshall King contributed to this report.