Once again the community has responded to the dream of David Simmons and others, and supported the Shepherd’s House’s 11th dinner and entertainment benefit. The event was held at Cross Creek Country Club and featured a $100 per ticket “Mad Money Drawdown.” According to the Rev. Phil Goble Jr., executive director of the Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality (GMAMH), the effort earned about $50,000 for the 24-hour shelter’s work.
The event featured a $10,000 grand prize won by Jimmy Harbour, Lonnie Inman, Beckie Derrick, Jason Pike and Jan Atkins, who chose to split the winnings among them. Goble said in a previous event two participants had agreed to split the grand prize. He said Atkins had bought the last $20 ticket for a chance to have her name put in the drawing and was the last one drawn.
Shepherd’s House Fundraising Committee Chairwoman Berta Glenn Springthorpe was enthusiastic about the “new crop” of young volunteers who helped the cause this year, which is the group’s 10th anniversary.
“We are excited about this new group who is helping with the fundraiser,” said Springthorpe. “They have brought with them more energy and they’ve been wonderful and done so many good things. This is our main fundraiser of the year, and we usually raise between fifty or sixty thousand dollars.”
Springthorpe said the group has previously staged 10 fundraisers like the dinner and evening of entertainment. She recalled how steering committee member Penny Taylor’s idea to establish a shelter was championed by the late David Simmons, who really got the ball rolling when he came on board. She said every fundraiser was unique.
“It’s different every year. We change things up like adding the live auction,” added Springthorpe. Both Springthorpe and Goble indicated the contributions of the community and recognized members of the Simmons family who were participating in the event. He said another significant chapter in the Shepherd’s House story was how the Surry Baptist Men’s Group re-modeled the home before it opened in 2003, fixing doors and windows in the house. Two items featured in the auction this year were a 1927 Foster & Company piano and a turn-of-the-century Farrand organ donated to the cause.
“I think it’s significant a group representing 66 churches from all over Surry County stepped in and did that,” said Goble. “Its been a place of hope, healing and help. We really have to thank David for his dream. We have all just contributed to his vision.”
Goble said another example of community support was the anonymous donor of a 2004 Ford Taurus that was offered at the auction. Citing the cliche salesperson’s joke about a car with a single owner who drove it to market, he said this vehicle was exactly that. The woman who owned it only drove it on short errands, regularly had its maintenance done and just wasn’t happy with the trade in offer when she bought her new car. This donor, who is from King, decided to donate it to the Shepherd’s House auction.
Goble explained that in the 1990s, Simmons shared a vision with friends of a place that could offer help, hope, and hospitality to the homeless and downtrodden in Surry County. Together, they started talking about the Shepherd’s House and what it could be.
They wanted a place that would help people with their physical and spiritual needs. According to one of the first brochures the group produced, the Shepherd’s House was “the result of various discussions and meetings held, along with many prayers which have been lifted up over the past four years by a number of groups and individuals in the community over the homeless situation.”
They found a place for the shelter, renting a house at 227 Rockford St. from Haymore Memorial Baptist Church, which became a very close friend and supporter, for $1 per year. Its mission is to provide a 24-hour ministry for people in need of shelter and hospitality. The mission statement for the group indicated that through ongoing education, training and discipleship, participants will be prepared to meet their challenges with hope, healing and restoration. The Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality, the group’s over-riding 501(c)3 carrier, was established to fulfill this goal.
He said the Shepherd’s House had helped a total of 1,273 people. Of this number, 730 were women and 430 children were helped. Information from the shelter’s website indicates a total of 100,224 meals have been served, 33,408 nights of shelter were provided and a total of 2,493 hours of counseling was extended to those sheltered there.
The shelter has served clients from Surry, Stokes, Yadkin, Wilkes, Forsyth and several other counties in North Carolina as well as several counties in Virginia.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Mediocre Bad Guys. This group’s members include Doug Davis, Jerry Chapman, Kirk Vernon and Les Slate. Goble said one feature of the drawdown which added to the excitement was tickets drawn at various times were returned into the barrel for a second chance. The drawn ticket purchased for $20 was entered into the drawing when only nine tickets remained. A total of 800 drawdown tickets were available.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.