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Auction raises $5,000 for Christian Social Services // LAND O'LAKES

Christian Social Services, which regularly helps local families with emergency donations of food and clothing, needs a little help itself.

The group will soon have to vacate its rented headquarters at 3904 Land O'Lakes Blvd. because of the planned expansion of U.S. 41. It is looking for a new facility from which to help people.

And it is looking for the money to pay for it.

Hence, the auction it held Saturday.

The group auctioned off golf outings at some of the area's priciest golf courses, dinners at local restaurants, gift certificates from local stores, savings bonds, advertising from weekly newspapers, furniture, antiques and other valuable items.

By day's end, about $5,000 had been raised.

"It was wonderful and we had a good time," said Jacquie Petet, executive director of the charity. "We were very impressed (by the $5,000)."

Christian Social Services helped 400 families last year, according to Pastor Kent Zimmermann of Harvester United Methodist Church.

Not only do the group's volunteers give food and clothing to families in crises, but the group provides such services as support groups; Bible, literacy and resume classes; and a thrift shop.

"We're taking care of their basic needs first," Zimmermann said. "Then we help groom people so that they might find a way to help themselves."

Petet said the group needed money before it could start looking for a new home:

"This money is just the start. It's a step in the right direction."

Petet said the community's generosity made the auction a success.

"We had a lot of volunteers and a lot of support from the community," she said. "We live in a very generous community. Whether they baked, bought, donated or worked, it was a great effort. We thank them."

_ If you have a story about Land O'Lakes or Wesley Chapel, call 996-1534.

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