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Plans under way for Oaklawn’s 33rd benefit auction, to take place online and in person

MARSHALL — Oaklawn volunteers and staffers are keeping an annual tradition alive by bringing community supporters together in a hybrid event for the 33rd annual Oaklawn Benefit Auction.

Volunteers already are at work in planning a memorable event, which is to begin with a week-long virtual event starting Wednesday, March 8, and conclude with an in-person, limited-attendance gathering on Thursday, March 16, at Eastend Studio & Gallery, 143 W Michigan Ave.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we went entirely virtual for a few years, so it’s very exciting now to be able to offer this new ‘hybrid event,’” said auction organizer Cindy Lake of Oaklawn’s Development Department.

Access to the auction as well as information about silent-auction items and the purchase of raffle tickets may be found online at

“There’s no charge for the virtual fundraiser, which will be accessible from anywhere — so anyone can participate by visiting the website,” Lake said. A $75 entry donation will be collected for the March 16 in-person gathering.

Local residents and businesses already are at work, volunteering and donating items for the “Feelin’ Lucky” benefit auction, which hopes to raise at least $85,000 to benefit Oaklawn Hospice and its programs.

“Our hospice team guides families through the grieving process and offers some peace in a time of heartbreak,” Lake said. “We’re asking for this support so we can continue to provide the best care possible to some of our most vulnerable patients and their families.”

Members of Oaklawn’s auction committee have begun to reach out to community businesses and other donors to assemble an array of intriguing items for the auction. Raffle plans also are under way and will be announced later.

Those who wish to contribute or donate items are being asked to contact Kelsey Zeilstra, an Oaklawn development associate, at (269) 789-7494 or Additional information about the event also is available from the Oaklawn Development Department at (269) 789-7570 and from Cindy Lake at

Hundreds of items for the auction — including trips, event and show tickets, memorabilia, specialty products, services, and gift certificates — typically are gathered and catalogued for each year’s auction. Specific information about these and other items will be made available in the weeks leading up to the auction at the website address above.

Title sponsors for this year’s auction include Schroeder DeGraw PLLC, BluFish Consulting, Marshall Community Credit Union and Albion Electric Inc.

“Last year alone, our auction raised more than $100,000 for Drager Ventilator systems for the hospital,” Lake said. “Collectively, this event has successfully raised over $2 million, benefitting so many people in our community. With everyone’s support, we are confident that again we will make a difference together.”