St. Patrick's Day isn't until March 15, but that didn't stop the local St. Patrick's Day Committee from starting the celebration early, with their annual fundraising auction at Bruff's Sports Bar and Grill Friday.
Committee President Daryl Polzin says a good crowd of people were ready by 4:30pm that afternoon. That tells him how much community support there is for this event.
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Polzin said, last year people weren't worried about an impending winter storm -- as this year is showing -- and turned up to support the event anyway.
The preliminary fundraising total is around $12,000. Beneficiaries include the Emporia Animal Shelter, SOS, Civil Air Patrol, Girl Scouts, Neosho Valley Shrine Club, Read to Your Bunny, Transitions, the Emporia Arts Center and the ESU Book Project as well as the group's endowed scholarship fund through Emporia State University. Over the years the committee has given out over $160,000 dollars to 35 groups or organizations, including SOS, the Girl Scouts, and Emporia State University.
A 5K run, dubbed the Leprechaun Dash, has been added to their list of activities It will be run the morning of the parade downtown. Cost for that event is $30 for adults and $15 for youths 15 to 18.
Entry forms for the run are available at the Lee Beran Rec Center.
For more information about the St. Patrick's Day Committeee you can call Barb Ternes at 343-0745.