FAYETTEVILLE — For 21 years, the Northwest Arkansas community has come outdoors to Washington Regional Hospice’s annual summer garden party. This year’s
Southern Soiree put an elegant down-home flair on the event, which has become one of the most consistently well attended events of the summer.
Sylvia and Tommy Boyer hosted the June 16 affair in the expansive gardens of their elegant home that, between its traditional decor and handsome exterior, provided inspiration for this year’s Southern Soiree theme. The all-white dress code gave the evening a chic, fresh feel, and comfort foods catered by Catering Concepts brought guests back to their roots.
The amounts earned at this year’s Southern Soiree were particularly striking, as the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation offered a challenge grant, pledging to match funds raised at the event.
Dr. Hershey Garner, a Fayetteville oncologist, stressed the importance of hospice and shared his personal experience of working with hospice patients for nearly 25 years.
“Hospice creates an environment in which patients can say goodbye safely, compassionately and comfortably,” Garner said.
He also urged guests to fill out donation cards found at the
center of each table.
“With hospice, you learn about focus, because when someone is in hospice, all that is important in their lives comes to the forefront,” Garner said. “What is important is not the stuff you’ve accumulated, but it is the lives that you’ve changed, and we have the ability to do that tonight.”
Guests arrived to the tunes of Jeff Fox with special guest Jed Clampit, and after the live auction, The Cate Brothers Band got partygoers on their feet. As the night came
to a close, guests feasted on dessert and a special late-night tailgating selection.
The live auction included a seven-night stay for up to eight at a Southern California resort; yellow gold and ruby custom jewelry from India valued at $22,000; and a seven-night getaway with airfare for two to the Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino in St. Kitts.
Tickets were $75 per person, and sponsorship levels began at $250. Larger donors were invited to a special indoor appreciation celebration at the Boyer home preceding the garden party. The higher-level sponsors also enjoyed a sneak peek of auction offerings, entertainment by soloist Mike Lenzini, preferred parking, reserved seating and signature foods and beverages.