By LIBBY CLUETT
Tasty food and spicy salsa were just some of the main ingredients adding to the success of Saturday’s Salsa Baron’s Ball.
Individuals and businesses contributed auction items, sponsorships and dollars to help Palo Pinto Challenge Inc. raise nearly $17,500 over expenses. A raffle brought in $1,060, while the silent and live auction contributed another $5,103.
“We’re thrilled,” said PPC Executive Director Barbara Cranfill.
“We’re down from last year, but the economy is worse than last year,” she added. “We just really want to thank everybody in the whole county.”
Cranfill and other event organizers noted there appeared to be an increase in attendance this year.
Not many left empty handed. Several pies and food items, some made by the PPC associates, were the focus of bidders as Eric Dyess called the live auction. Margie Holmes won the tricycle. Cranfill said she must have become fond of it, since Holmes had the prizes before the event.
“She baby sat [the trike] for several weeks admiring it,” Cranfill suggested.
In addition, she said Dr. Will Warren won the grand prize drawing for $1,000.
All of the proceeds go directly into Palo Pinto Challenge to help “pay for insurance, buy jars and lids and pay bills,” explained Cranfill. “The program teaches job and life skills to mentally challenged adult residents of Palo Pinto County.”
These associates make the Hale Center Salsa and jalapeño Cruzers, which are available in Mineral Wells, at Metro Food and Sav-a-lot grocery stores, and throughout the county at: Strawn’s Machacek Bakery and Greyhound Pak-a-Sak; Mingus Quick Stop; Thornton’s Merchantile and Gateway, in Santo; Palo Pinto’s Red’s Grocery, Gas and Grill; Possum Kingdom Lake’s PK General Store. The PPC salsa is also available in Parker County, at Weatherford’s SuperSave and Brookshire’s stores, in Weatherford and Willow Park.
Saturday’s Salsa Baron’s Ball, Cranfill said they served 221 meals, made by Pulidos Restaurant.
While eating a dinner of fajitas and fixings at the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Posse building, partygoers heard the music of CoeBoy, which included Mineral Wells’ Willie Coe and sons, along with local fiddler Bleu John McCoy.
Once the event was over and people left, she said the associates, Eric Hernandez, Poncho Yañez and Julia Elmore, stayed and helped clean up.
For those who missed out on the ball, there are ways to continue helping Palo Pinto Challenge. The organization is selling T-shirts – $15 for sizes small through extra large and $18 for 2X and larger – that read, “Everyone Can Work With Pride.” To purchase a shirt, call the office at (254) 672-5738.