SABRA Sanctuary holds annual auction

Published 9:19 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

It was a packed house Thursday night at the George P. Evans Reception Center, as community members and elected officials joined SABRA Sanctuary for its “Boots and Bows” themed silent auction.

The shelter provides services and shelter for those affected by domestic violence.

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Renee Callen, SABRA Sanctuary director, encouraged the crowd to dig deep in their pockets and donate to the worthy cause, as they looked at a plethora of items up for grabs.

Callen said she was overwhelmed by the love and support shown from the community.

Sen. Hank Sanders and Rep. Prince Chestnut both spoke on the importance of having an organization like SABRA Sanctuary in the Selma area.

Chestnut spoke of his personal connection with a former employee of the shelter and how she encouraged him to pursue politics.

“I will definitely support SABRA Sanctuary as long as I’m in the state house,” he said.

Callen said it was important to her to see elected officials at the event because their support “means everything” and they are helping turn SABRA around so that people won’t take the center for granted.

The walls of the building were lined with a variety of items, and the crowd got a chance to walk around and place their bids. Cakes, baskets, grouped packaged items and even a furry friend were just some of the items being auctioned off.

Supporter of the shelter and auction attendee Nancy Gantt said the auctions are always fun and they support a good cause. She said he has gotten great items in the past and is a repeat supporter. Gantt, a retired teacher, said she knows how important an organization like SABRA is and how it can help children who come from abusive homes.

“I know of the abuse that goes on in our area,” she said.

The auction is just one of the many efforts the organization makes throughout the year to offset the cost of running and supporting the needs of the shelter. Grants play a huge part in their funding as well.

Callen spoke about the importance of those donors and mentioned Ala-Tom RC&D being a title donor. Ala-Tom RC&D Program Developer Noopie Cosby presented a $5,000 check to the shelter during the auction.

“This is an organization that meets our mission statement,” Cosby said.

He said Ala-Tom is glad to be the shelter’s title sponsor and happy to give them a big boost.

“We try to be seed money to help add to their fundraising efforts,” Cosby added.

Callen thanked all of the board members and sanctuary employees for doing all they can.

“I was overwhelmed by the dedication and hard work of the board,” Callen said.

She said they give so much of their time to maintain the shelter and the shelter would not be there without them.

“People are hurting in our area and it seems like our community is starting to listen,” she said.

According to Callen, domestic violence can have lasting effects on more than just the person being abused.

“Domestic violence is not just an individual problem nor even just a family problem, but a community problem,” Callen said.

All proceeds raised during the auction will benefit the needs of the shelter.

For more information on the shelter or more information on donations contact (334) 877-4645.