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HOBART | Spring was in the air as BRIDGES Development Foundation and Friends of The Arc Northwest Indiana hosted the annual Buds and Blossoms fundraiser April 30 to benefit The Arc Northwest Indiana.

Flowers were the theme as designed by client Rachel Kammer in her painting chosen to grace the cover of the evening's program. Table favors matched Kammer's purple blooms in the form of iced cookies, and live flowering plants served as centerpieces and door prizes, along with gift bags filled with handmade soaps.

A welcome was given by Cindy Shikles, acting executive director of The Arc NWI, and foundation and Friends board members, as well as event committee members, were introduced.

Standing up each time a board or committee was recognized was Sam Condes, of Highland, a longtime supporter of The Arc of NWI whose twin sister, Sally Condes, has been an Arc client for more than 40 years.

Several hundred guests did some early Mother's Day shopping at the boutiques and placed their bids on dozens of silent auction items that included a handcrafted dollhouse, wine baskets, camping gear and an autographed Chicago Blackhawk uniform sweater from Patrick Kane. The evening also included a bag raffle, a 50-50 raffle that collected a record $1,484, and a heads-or-tails raffle for a gift card tree.

Auctioneer Jim Lestinsky worked the crowd during a live auction that featured a dozen items ranging from an airplane ride for 2 with Lowell pilot Dan Sutton to a jewelry armoire filled with glittery accessories.

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