Sure sign of spring: CHB fundraiser a success

BREMEN — Community Hospital of Bremen Foundation held its annual Spring Sensation, a dinner and silent auction fundraiser on Saturday, Apr. 20.
Surrounded by decorations to fit this year’s event theme, “Laughter is the Best Medicine,” attendees wandered from table to table, viewing a the items up for auction, including sports memorabilia like autographed basketballs and jerseys from University of Notre Dame players.
Tom Stiles, Bremen, was at the event with with his wife, Becky. They have attended Spring Sensation each year.
Last year they bid on a South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game and really enjoyed it. Stiles likes golf so he bid on some of the golfing packages offered.
“There are places to play that I really enjoy (bidding on) here at the auction,” Stiles said.
Other items up for bid included Disney World passes, condo stays in Siesta Key, Daytona Beach and Naples, Fla., and a Coach purse.
Community Hospital of Bremen is a non-profit facility and depends on donations to fully fund operations.
Spring Sensation is in its 12th year, and continues to attract a large gathering of people, filling St. Isidore Hall. This year, proceeds will help fund medication-dispensing equipment.
“We want this evening to be a great evening for everyone, and to remember what the cause is for,”  said Lon Kipfer, the foundation’s director of development.
After an evening of food, bidding, and laughter, Kipfer said that the evening went “exceptionally well,” and could possibly exceed last year’s profits.
The foundation director said about 240 people attended Saturday’s event, which is expected to match the event-record $60,000 generated at the 2012 fundraiser.
Money raised in 2012 was used to buy equipment for the hospital’s surgery department. It will be several weeks before organizers know the exact amount raised.
“It usually takes a few weeks to get a final tally,” Kipfer said. “Just gut feeling, we think it surpassed or was equal to last year.”
Gary Sieber, a weather forecaster for television station WNDU known for his weather-centered poetry, emceed the event.
He offered the crowd quips and a humorous poem, as well as praise for the event geared towards such a worthy cause.
“Bremen Community Hospital could use your support, it is a terrific organization,” Sieber said.
Jan Holmes, Bremen, has attended the event for about the past five years.
She said there were many interesting items, but specifically mentioned she was interested in the lawn care gift certificate provided by Turf Tenders Lawn Treatment, a local lawn care company owned by Max Huff. 
“I always like to buy something because it supports a good cause,” Holmes said.