Originally Published: April 22, 2014 6:04 a.m.
PRESCOTT - The third annual Dinner for the Diamond event Saturday night raised $7,500 for Prescott High School athletics and included a raffle for a new car that generated $42,000 for four high schools in the quad-cities area.
The fundraiser took place at Tim's Toyota on Commerce Drive and included dinner provided by Jim Cabral from Gabby's Kitchen and music by local band Crossfire.
"It's important to me - I want to be very involved in the community as far as Tim's Auto Group is concerned," Ali Hussain, general manager of Tim's Auto Group said. "It is a big deal for the school districts, because so many programs have been cut. They haven't been able to support (the programs) on the sports side or the academic side.
"So I thought it would be a great idea to be involved with the schools and give back to the community," he said.
The Dinner for the Diamond started as a way to raise money for PHS baseball, but with the addition of a raffle for a brand-new Toyota Camry, donated by Tim's Toyota, Chino Valley, Mayer, and Bradshaw Mountain High Schools benefit as well.
The winner of the drawing, Tim Lashley, is from Peoria. He was at home when his name was drawn Saturday morning, but arrived at the dealership with his family by 5:30 p.m. and drove his new car home.
The $42,000 raised through the sale of raffle tickets for the car will benefit more than just sports at the schools. Among the groups that will get financial help at PHS are the school's Math Club and National Honor Society, PHS Principal Stephanie Hillig said.
"Tim's Toyota has gone from supporting just one group to, really, expanding to support the whole academic realm," she said.
"It's a big way that a business was able to help a community," organizer Jennifer Fairbairn said.
Everything from the entertainment to the food at the dinner event was donated, so "100 percent of the proceeds will go to the (PHS) baseball program," Fairbairn said. "There is no paid staff."
That included goods and services donated for both a silent and a live auction, for such goodies as four tickets to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, which included going on the field for batting practice; a diamond pendant from Raskins Jewelers; eight reserved front-row seats to next month's PHS graduation; and a one-hour scenic flight from North-Aire.
PHS Athletic Director Mark Goligoski said the $7,500 raised would have an impact on his programs. "These types of events help us make up for that (government) money that gets cut year after year," he said.
"It's incredible. Our programs are very expensive to run," he said, "and to have Tim's Auto Group get behind us and help us put on a fundraiser like this, it's just incredible."
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