One bidder will get to take home a limited edition hand-made tote which was a gift at the annual Congressional Spouses lunch in Washington D.C. The winning bid will also enjoy a private lunch with Congressman Austin Scott and wife Vivien.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Williams Syndrome Family of Hope, www.wsfamilyofhope.org
. Williams Syndrome is a genetic anomaly and is not contagious. People with this disorder have a spectrum of disabilities and mental abilities. One thing they all have in common is an over-eager friendliness.
The auction will be held (()) on Ebay. For more information visit facebook.com/autowranglers
Since the bag was only distributed during the Luncheon in Washington, putting a dollar value on it is extremely difficult. To be sure, very few of these items will ever be made available to the public. Only 1,200 of the bags were ever made.
“This tote is being donated by my staff member Earle Shivers,” said Rep. Austin Scott. “This is typical of the generosity Earle displayed. For him to donate it for such a worthy cause at the Williams Syndrome group just further shows how much he cares. The Williams Syndrome foundation has Vivien’s and my total support. People with disabled family members are some of the hardest working people I know of. If we can help them in this way, then Vivien and I are ready to do so.”
The tote has as the words “First Lady Luncheon” sewn on the inside. Made by New York accessories designer Mondani, it is one of only a small handful which was distributed at the 100th Anniversary lunch in the capital for the nation’s first lady. For these past 100 years, spouses of senators and congressmen have feted the First Lady in a gala event held at one of Washington’s premier hotels.
Earle Shivers, a staff member for Rep. Scott, donated the handbag for the charity auction. Shivers, who worked for five past governors of Georgia, is now the Deputy Director for Constituent Services for Congressman Austin Scott. He runs the Warner Robins district office.
Mr. Shivers attended the luncheon, where he received the bag.
“I have worked with mentally handicapped for most of my life. One of my family members is mentally disabled. That is just where my heart is,” he said. “When I found out some children and adults with Williams Syndrome also have mental delays and how loving these children and adults are, I just said this is something I need to support.”
Mr. Shivers is also a professionally trained chef and will be cooking the private dinner. He is planning the menu with Mrs. Scott.
“We hope this auction will bring more attention to people with Williams Syndrome and by extension people with any kind of disability,” Mrs. Scott said. “The same God who made you and I also made them. Some cultures believe handicapped children are specially sent to everyone else. I do believe we can gain something about what it means to be a better person by learning from disabled and handicapped people. As the Williams Syndrome group says, they are not disabled, just differently abled.”
The auction is being coordinated by the C.H.A.N.G.E. Foundation, and AutoWranglers.com, both based in Tifton, GA.
The brainchild of Brian York and a partner in Tifton, C.H.A.N.G.E. works with local charities to help them achieve their short and long term goals. Partnering with AutoWranglers.com to help WS Families of Hope was a natural fit, said C.H.A.N.G.E. co-founder Brian York.
“The Williams Syndrome group is all about helping people, especially children, learn to become the best they can be. This is not a well-known disorder, but it affects a lot of people. We’re pleased to be a part of helping them raise money for their important work,” Mr. York said. “Through outreach and education, we can teach people, especially doctors, about this genetic condition. There’s no need to fear these people or ostracize them. People with Williams Syndrome deserve the same respect given to everyone else.”
Like C.H.A.N.G.E., AutoWranglers.com has a solid history of support charity fundraising efforts.
“Partnering with The CHANGE Foundation, William's Syndrome Families Of Hope and Congressman Scott's office is a true testament of how different people and groups can come together for the common good and raise a lot of money,” said Barry Barbee, AutoWranglers.com executive director. “Thanks to the involvement of Rep. Scott, we will bring much attention, focus and awareness to the community and to the Williams Syndrome group’s work. It is a high honor to be affiliated with everyone involved in this charity auction. Brian York, Earle Shivers, Vivien Scott and Kelley Bedore have all been just amazing to work with.”
ABOUT WILLIAMS SYNDROME
Williams Syndrome (WS) is a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of a small segment of the long arm of chromosome 7. It occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 births. WS is characterized by mild to moderate developmental delays, a distinctive facial appearance and a unique personality that combines over-friendliness and high levels of empathy with anxiety.
WS can affect every system in the body. Medical problems may include cardiovascular disease caused by narrowed arteries, elevated blood pressure, kidney problems, gastrointestinal issues, limited joint mobility, chronic ear infections, thyroid issues and optical issues. All individuals with WS have learning disabilities. The average IQ is in the mildly mentally developmentally delayed range, however some individuals have a more severe impairment and there are few who have normal intelligence.
ABOUT THE WS FAMILIES OF HOPE
The Williams Syndrome Families of Hope is a national organization based in Tifton. It seeks to increase public awareness of this disorder and help families cope with it.
For more information please visit www.wsfamilyofhope.org
ABOUT THE CHANGE FOUNDATION
Founded in Tifton, GA, Citizens Helping Area Nonprofit Groups Excel (CHANGE) helps other charities in the area. Co-founder Brian York said CHANGE helps motivate other charities, conduct fundraisers and achieve their goals.
Change also offers accountability to people who donate. By going through CHANGE, which keeps none of the money donated to various projects, people who give will know where their money goes and that it helps local people.
For more information visit www.joinchange.org
AutoWranglers.com buys old cars, trucks, RVs, and even motorcycles and, with the seller’s permission, donates the sale price to a charity. So far AutoWranglers has signed up several charities in Georgia and is expanding its reach across the nation.
“We don’t care where you are or where the car is. We will come get it,” Mr. Barbee said. “The same day we pick up the old wreck - and it can be a wreck - the associated charity will get a check.”
If you are interested in having AutoWranglers sponsor a car purchase drive for your charity, group, church or organization, please call Mr. Barry at 877-845-7378
. There is no charge to the group receiving money. If you just have an old vehicle you want to get rid of, please call Mr. Barbee. You can receive the money or Mr. Barbee can suggest one of the many charities AutoWranglers.com supports.
We are looking forward to helping the Williams Syndrome foundation with our Donation Direct Purchase Program at AutoWranglers.com,” Mr. Barbee said. “We want other charities, churches, foundations, school systems to know we will also support their fundraising efforts. All they have to do is contact us and ask how we can raise money for them.”
ABOUT AUSTIN SCOTT
A South Georgia native, Rep. Scott first entered politics running for the Georgia House of Representatives against an incumbent Democrat. He won that race and was returned to office several more times.
He began a campaign for Governor of Georgia, but after meeting people across the state, he felt serving in Washington would allow him to do the most for the residents of the Peach State. The 8th Congressional District runs from Warner Robins and Macon in the north along the I-75 corridor to Tifton.
A first term Congressman, Rep. Scott was elected chairman of the Freshmen Representatives caucus in Washington.