Civitan wants residents to ‘Have a Heart’ Feb. 15

Published 4:31 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Berrien County Civitan Club is asking area residents to have a heart for Valentine's Day this year.
Their annual benefit dinner and auction titled the "Have A Heart" Valentine's Dinner will take place on Sunday, Feb. 15 at St. Mary's Parish Hall in Niles.
The proceeds from the lasagna dinner will be going toward improving the conditions for those with developmental disabilities.
Fintze said the money raised from this year's dinner will be going toward the creation of handicapped accessible playground equipment at an area park.
He said the specifics will be figured out after the dinner when they see how much money was raised. If the club does not raise enough money to complete the project it will saved to go toward the project for next year. Fintze said the club was able to use their money to put in a handicapped accessible swing at Riverfront Park last year.
The annual dinner is the civitan club's major fundraising event and has brought in anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in years past.
This is the first year that the dinner will be held at St. Mary's Parish Hall, which can hold somewhere between 200 to 300 people. Fintze said there is now a possibility that this year's dinner could be much larger than past dinners which have averaged around 100 people. In addition to providing homemade lasagna with all of the fixings, there will also be an auction featuring a number of new and unusual items.
Fintze said there are approximately 80 auction items including dinners to restaurants like Millennium and the Prime Table and memberships to the YMCA and Fernwood Nature Center.
There will even be a cockatiel available to bid on.
Fintze said one of the club's 35 members, raises cockatiels and will bring a few of the young birds to the auction. This year's auctioneer will be Ken Coquillard. "He has fun with the auction and as a result it moves along quite well," Fintze said.
Doors will open at 4 p.m. with dinner at 5 p.m. and the auction at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at Sentiments, Daisy Mae's in the Four Flags Hotel and the Four Flags Chamber. Advance sales are preferred, but walk-ins will also be accommodated.