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3:25 AM Sun, Oct. 21st

Jersey Lilly fundraiser kicks off with Nov. 1 party and auction

The bronze sculpture titled “Stock Holders Meeting” will be raffled off this year as a part of Jersey Lilly Saloon’s annual Courthouse Christmas Lighting Fundraiser. The bronze was sculpted and donated by local artist Bradford Williams. (Courtesy/Roy Traver)

The bronze sculpture titled “Stock Holders Meeting” will be raffled off this year as a part of Jersey Lilly Saloon’s annual Courthouse Christmas Lighting Fundraiser. The bronze was sculpted and donated by local artist Bradford Williams. (Courtesy/Roy Traver)

The back bar at Jersey Lilly Saloon is already sporting brightly colored paper Christmas bulbs – a sure sign that bar patrons are thinking ahead to the cost of the annual lighting of the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza.

Members of the Friends of Jersey Lilly organization gathered at the Whiskey Row saloon Thursday evening, Oct. 11, to firm up plans for the 11th annual Courthouse Christmas Lighting Fundraiser.

With a record tally of more than $42,000 behind them for the 2017 holiday season, the group is hoping to improve on that this year – perhaps to as much as $50,000.

Already, the Friends of Jersey Lilly effort is the largest single contributor to the approximately $90,000 cost of putting on Prescott’s Arizona Christmas City celebration. The City of Prescott annually contributes $30,000, while the event-sponsoring Chamber of Commerce and Prescott Downtown Partnership give $5,000 each.

The Friends group was busy this week planning for its annual kick-off party - set for 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, at Jersey Lilly Saloon, 116 S. Montezuma St.

Long-time Jersey Lilly owner and fundraiser founder Tommy Meredith will serve as auctioneer at the event, with help from Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli.

Organizers are currently working to collect donated auction items. Last year, they say the live auction offered 68 items valued at more than $100 each, as well as about 40 silent-auction packages.

A flier for the events states: “The live auction is one of Prescott’s more exciting affairs” offering items for sale such as weekend getaways, fine art, beauty products.

Also crucial to the fundraiser is the western bronze sculpture that will be raffled off immediately after the Courthouse Lighting (Dec. 1).

This year’s sculpture, “Stock Holders Meeting,” – created and donated by local artist Bradford Williams – is on display at Jersey Lilly. It is valued at $4,500.

Raffle tickets are $25 for one; $50 for three; $100 for seven; and $200 for 15. Those donating get a sponsor bulb displayed on Jersey Lilly’s back bar throughout the holiday season. The personalized donor bulbs and tickets for the raffle are available through the Jersey Lilly Saloon.

While Meredith sold the Jersey Lilly Saloon this past year, new owner Susan Roberts is involved with the Friends of Jersey Lilly group. “We’re definitely going to continue it,” Roberts said of the annual fundraiser.

The Friends group, which is made up of a dozen members, spends about six months planning the fundraiser.

New in the past year or two is involvement by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, whose volunteer ambassadors now help to solicit and collect donated items for the live and silent auctions.

For local residents who wish to donate but cannot make it to Jersey Lilly, Meredith said volunteers are on hand to help. “We’ll pick it up – just call Jersey Lilly (928-541-7854) or the Chamber (928-445-2000),” he said.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.