Custom Yeti tumblers for Gulf Bend Center fundraiser

Custom Yeti tumblers for silent auction at Magic on the Midway benefiting Gulf Bend Center

The Crescent Circus, a husband and wife magic and circus duo from New Orleans, will entertain guests at Magic on the Midway from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Spring Creek Place Event Center. All proceeds will benefit Gulf Bend Center’s Wellness Community.

Think juggling, Hula-Hoops and a white dove. And then imagine the wife becoming the husband in a split second behind a sheet and ponder how a mobile phone belonging to an audience member might end up in a bag of breakfast cereal.

The event will kick off with cocktails and mingling. In addition to an open bar, L6 Catering, under the same ownership as Frances Marie’s Restaurant and Cantina, will serve a semi-seated dinner.

Live and silent auctions and a bucket raffle will provide guests with opportunities to splurge for a good cause, said Jennifer Rayburn, director of advancement for Gulf Bend Center. They can join in the whimsy of carnival-themed games and capture fun moments in the photo booth. When the illusionists finish their performance, the guests can dance the night away to music provided by DJ D-Ray.

The raffle bucket will include Kendra Scott jewelry, an Arctic cooler filled with beverages and snacks, and a framed sketch donated by Hallet Oak Gallery. Raffle tickets are $20 each. The live auction will include a custom, hand-tooled belt buckle designed by Greg Seiler and a 12-pound prime rib prepared by McMillan’s Bar-B-Q in Fannin with two side dishes and two pies.

“McMillan’s Bar-B-Q was named one of the Top 50 Best BBQ Joints by Texas Monthly, and Warren Moon, who played football for the Minnesota Vikings, has the barbecue flown to Minnesota because he loves it so much,” Rayburn said.

The silent auction will include a Coach bag and a set of four custom-designed Yeti tumblers with three bottles of small-batch distilled bourbon from Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery in the Austin area.

The event is only the organization’s second large fundraiser in its almost 50-year history. The money raised will help cover expenses to keep the Wellness Community operating.

The Wellness Community currently houses 32 individuals who are actively pursuing integrated care, Rayburn said. The long- or short-term transitional housing combines behavioral, mental and physical health in a safe, supportive environment.

The residents pay rent and seek employment when possible, or they take classes. They volunteer and participate in community activities. Gulf Bend Center provides them with transportation and around-the-clock support staff.

“This is not a private family conversation, this is a community conversation,” Rayburn said. “I not only write grants and throw parties to raise money but to advance the conversation in the community about mental health. This is something we all participate in.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate.

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