Usually, people wear work boots, gloves, and clothes to build a house, but on August 10, Rabun County came together in their elegant evening wear to build a home as the 29th Rhapsody in Rabun Gala was held to raise funds for the 35th Habitat for Humanity® of Rabun County home. The evening undoubtedly exceeded everyone's expectations with fine food and drink, outstanding auction items, and a phenomenal band.
Rhapsody in Rabun began in 1991 as a group of community volunteers came together to support local nonprofits with an elegant evening. Their first recipient was Rabun Habitat, and the event raised $10,000. Since that time, Rhapsody has raised over $1.3 million for Rabun County nonprofits. The total amount raised for Habitat Rabun this year will be announced in September.
"Both boards, Rhapsody and Habitat, and a small army of volunteers worked tirelessly for months to put on this event, said Dan McAfee, Habitat Board President, "They and all those who donated auction items, food, and drink should be thanked." McAfee and Rhapsody Board President, Rocky Ford, emceed the event. Ford and his wife, Kathy, donated one of the more unusual items to the Live Auction, a purebred English Pointer puppy from Elhew Kennels. As Ford walked around with the puppy, it generated lively bidding.
Wes and Rita Rayfield have lived in Clayton for many years but this was their first time attending Rhapsody. “We had a great time with our friends all dressed up. The silent auction items were exciting to bid on. The food was excellent, and it was fun to try new restaurants. The music was awesome!”
Habitat Board Member Pete Cleaveland praised Barbara Anderson, Margaret Dunn, and the Silent Auction committee for putting on the finest silent auction ever. Many attendees marveled at the number and variety of Silent Auction items covering the Diner area of the Civic Center.
"I have been with Habitat for a year and love providing a home to those that wouldn't have one without our help. I have watched in my own family and community situations that 'happen' like hospitalization, death, divorce, disabilities, and veterans returning home, all jeopardizing a safe home in which to live," said Anderson, "I consider it an honor to work with the Habitat Board and the Rhapsody team!"
There are many reasons Rhapsody is so successful. Many Rhapsody Board members have served for decades. Mary Ann Rich has served since the board began--29 years. As one Rhapsody Board member (who asked not to be named) shared, we do this out of love for our community, not for the recognition. We just want the event to be successful and make the nonprofits a lot of money.
McAfee expressed his thanks to the Rhapsody Board for choosing Habitat Rabun this year. “Although Rhapsody is over for this year, our mission is not,” he added, “In order to continue to provide decent, affordable housing in Rabun County we need volunteers and financial support year-round.”
Applications for the 2020 Rhapsody in Rabun recipient will be due in December 2019. Please visit rhapsodyinrabun.com for more details. To see the progress on the 2019 Habitat Rabun home, follow Habitat Rabun on social media or visit habitatrabun.com.