"All the proceeds from the Tea will go toward our mission which is to eliminate cancer through research, education, advocacy and patient service programs," said Julie Aycock, income development specialist at the Sikeston ACS office.
Held some years during the Christmas season and others in the spring, the annual event is always an opportunity for local residents to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
This year, however, in addition to the money from $25 tickets and over 70 sponsorships of $50, there will be the money raised by the silent auction. "This is the first year for the auction," said Kim Heckemeyer, Spring Tea chairperson, "and there are several very exciting items."
People may begin bidding on items upon arrival, according to Aycock, "and whoever has the highest bid will get to take the item home with them."
Among the items donated for the Spring Tea auction is a painting by Ann Schuchart, which Aycock said has a $400 value.
"It is a watercolor called 'Rose Tea,'" Schuchart said. "It's a still life with a teapot with some roses in it like you would put in a vase."
This painting was picked for the auction "because it is something that would appeal to a lot of people and would go with the decor of people's homes," Schuchart said.
"I'm interested in the cause and I'm always willing to donate a painting for a good cause," she said. "I've got family and friends that have had cancer. I don't suppose there are too many people that haven't been touched by it in some way."
Another of the items to bid on, according to Heckemeyer, is from Catherine Camden, a portrait artist in Sikeston.
The highest bidder will receive a $250 gift certificate toward the cost of a custom pastel portrait painting.
"I am so glad, so happy for the opportunity," said Camden. "I love people and I love portraying them."
Camden is also donating a signed, framed print of "Under God...Got It?" which was painted as a response to efforts to remove the phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Other Items to be featured include:
* A "Flower of the Month" package from Helen's Florist in Sikeston which includes 12 delivered arrangements, valued at about $25, according to Aycock.
The recipient can chose arrangements, but deliveries are only good for local addresses. "We're just happy to help," said York of the donation.
* A picture valued at $420 from Heppe's Heirloom Photography in Charleston.
"They have donated a 24 by 30 portrait," said Heckemeyer.
* An interior decor basket including a lamp, trunk and pillows from Terri Brewer-Cheatham and the Window Shade.
* Two $50 gift certificates from the Accent Shop.
The event will be held at Tom and Janet Hudspeth's home, 604 Tanglewood Blvd., and catered by Susie's Bake Shop in Sikeston, according to Aycock.
"Janet is a cancer survivor - she's actually had six recurrences. She was first diagnosed at the age of 37," Heckemeyer said. "I think Thursday's event is a fantastic way to celebrate those who have survived cancer."
"A lot of us don't realize all the American Cancer Society does to help those battling cancer," she added. "There are a lot of services that I was not even aware of."
While invitations were sent out, "it is open to everyone," Aycock said of the event.
For more information, call Aycock at 471-1823.