An evening of food and entertainment brought Barry and Lawrence county residents together at the Freistatt Lion's Building on Saturday for a Night in Italy, a fundraising event to benefit the Children's Center in Monett.
The evening started with a social hour, giving guests the opportunity to inspect a number of auction items donated by various companies and individuals.
Among the donated items were: an autographed Stan Musial photograph from TNT Sports; a pedal police car from Coast to Coast; a one night stay and golf game from Downtown Casino; an autographed "The Hit" photo of Pete Rose from TNT Sports; a Kitchen Aide mixer and baskets of food and beverages from the Children's Center staff and Bikers Against Child Abuse Seven Valleys Chapter; a wooden sled from Jim and Ev Larkins and an Easter basket from the Aurora Eagles Riders.
Children's Center Executive Director Chad Adams welcomed guests before they enjoyed a meal, featuring Caesar salad, lasagna, chicken alfredo, garlic toast and cheesecake. The buffet was provided by Jack Henry and Associates.
Kevin Huffmaster then presented the Karan Huffmaster Award to this year's recipient, former Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Robert George.
The award is named for the late Karan Huffmaster, one of the founding members of the Children's Center in Monett who served on the original board of directors. She volunteered as the secretary and treasurer of the Center's executive board.
Kevin Huffmaster went on to say that this year's recipient had worked toward helping the victims of child abuse for a number of years.
George was appointed as Lawrence County prosecuting attorney by then-Governor and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 1989.
"We love our honoree, because he put so many bad people who did so many bad things to our children in jail, and put them there for a long time," Kevin Huffmaster said. "He protected our children with a dedication and a conscious that is uncommon in today's world."
Guests had the opportunity to play Minute to Win It and enjoy entertainment provided by City Limits.
Other sponsors for the night's event included: Three Amigos; American Dehydrated Food; Community National Bank; EFCO, a Pella Company; Huffmaster Insur-ance; Hydro Aluminum; Weber Carr Chiropractic, and First State Bank.
Children's Center advis-ory board members are Kelley Carr, Johnnie Cox, Mick Epperly, Mike Gollhofer, Kevin Huffmaster, Lois Klatt, Brian Martin, Keith Parris and Don Trotter.