JACKSONVILLE — The second annual Crisis Center Hunt at Carey Lake Ranch promises to have an even bigger impact than before, thanks to the increased number of supporters, ranging from sponsors and celebrity guests to tickets sold, say organizers.
Held from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, this year's fundraiser has triple the number of ticket sales, from 91 people attending last year to 272 confirmed this year, said ranch manager Billy Bateman.
“Last year, we raised $28,600, and we're just hoping that we can beat last year's amount,” he said.
Returning to help raise funds for the Crisis Center of Anderson & Cherokee Counties are professional baseball players Josh Tomlin, a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians; Andrew Cashner, who pitches for the San Diego Padres; and Micah Hoffpauir, a former first baseman and outfielder for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
Joining them are Joe Smith, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, and Mike Fontenot, a Tampa Bay Rays second baseman.
“These five pro ball players will be signing autographs, and they've donated signed memorabilia,” Bateman said.
Josh McCown, a JHS graduate who serves as back-up quarterback for the Chicago Bears, started the Nov. 4 game against rival Green Bay Packers, leading them to a 27-20 win at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin, Bateman said, the first win the Bears have had in Green Bay since 2007.
A staunch supporter of his hometown, McCown has donated the game ball and a signed program from the Nov. 4 match for the auction.
Other auction items range from gift certificates from area businesses, guns, bows and arrows, fishing tackle, art prints, purses, jewelry, even a Lab puppy.
“There's a little bit for everyone,” Bateman said.
The event also features a wild game dinner prepared by ranch employees and live entertainment will be provided by country musician Jason Cassidy, who grew up near Houston.