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Bill Evertsberg Wears Gatsby Era Costume to Raise Money for Outreach

Written by: Julia Smolucha

Bill gives us a warm “Roaring Twenties” welcome to the 2020 Virtual Outreach Benefit, open from April 24 at noon—April 27 at 6 p.m.

William A. Evertsberg

Hi friends, my name is Bill Evertsberg. I’m one of the pastors at Kenilworth Union Church. Welcome to the 2020 Outreach Benefit, which is taking place this year in virtual form.

You know, I always look forward to that party at Michigan Shores every year. It’s always such a blast. So I pulled out my copy of the The Great Gatsby. Remember Nick Carraway’s description of his neighbor Jay Gatsby’s blow-out parties every Saturday night during the summer? Nick writes, “There was music coming from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens, men and women came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” Love that.

Remember that The Great Gatsby was written in 1924, takes place in 1922; our theme, you’ll remember, was going to be the Roaring Twenties. We were all going to dress like Daisy and Jay. This is as close to Gatsby as I can ever look on short notice so I hope you don’t mind.

Now just remember that the forty agencies we support need our help more than ever this year, so please look at the benefit website and find a way to participate. You can purchase a raffle ticket, you can bid on an auction item, and you can raise your paddle to make a cash gift. The Outreach Benefit, you remember, is the largest fundraiser for our mission-giving program at Kenilworth Union. In recent years, I can’t believe this, but every year the benefit has in recent years generated over $175,000 in net proceeds and we pass it all along to our sponsored agencies. And with the cancellation of this year’s rummage sale because of social isolation, Outreach will rely even more heavily on proceeds from this benefit.

Now the online benefit will be open from noon on Friday, April 24 until 6 p.m. on Monday, April 27. If you were planning to attend the benefit, maybe you can think about purchasing your tickets like you would in an ordinary year. They’re $150 each. If you raised your paddle last year, perhaps you could do so for a similar amount this year.

I’m going to miss you terribly at Michigan Shores this year, but I’m going to dress as much like Jay Gatsby as I can and buy my tickets like always. Thank you for supporting Kenilworth Union by participating and by giving virtually. Amen, and goodbye.