The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) raised $17,745 for local charities through the annual “Wreaths for a Cause” holiday program. More than 150 guests attended the Dec. 15 open house to celebrate the holidays, enjoy door prizes and participate in a live and silent auction of wreaths – all to benefit area nonprofit organizations.
Area businesses and organizations created and displayed 83 wreaths in IALR’s atrium in honor of their selected charities to raise funds in the form of votes, or donations. The public visited IALR’s atrium Nov. 28-Dec. 15 to vote for wreaths with a donation.
Each of the more than 50 charities represented retained those funds, and the wreath that collected the most money (donated by Goodyear Tire and Rubber to support United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County) received a bonus of $1,000 at the open house.
Two random drawings of all wreaths awarded additional $1,000 and $500 bonus awards to participating charities: the Claire Parker Foundation, supported by GO TEC and Furniture Depot, and Hope House, supported by Wilkins & Co. and Building Blocks Center for Children with Autism. All wreaths were then auctioned off, raising more funds for the supported charities.
“It amazes me every year how much our community actively supports this annual charitable and festive event,” said Leslie Dobbins, Vice President, Facilities and the Institute Conference Center. “We are honored to serve as the facilitator and host of these beautifully decorated wreaths in support of our local charities. I sincerely appreciate our staff and all the area organizations and businesses for participating, and I deeply value the support and engagement of our community.”
At the open house, Austin Scher of the Danville Otterbots served as master of ceremonies, and Rita Smith of River City Auction served as wreath auctioneer. All guests had an opportunity to win door prizes donated from local businesses and ticket proceeds from the event went to the United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County.

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