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St. John’s Drawdown returns to benefit Lena Wiley

For many years, members of Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church have sponsored a Drawdown, a festive evening of eating, dancing, socializing and a chance to win $10,000 with participation from the entire LOU Community.  

The event has always been held to provide funds for charities in the community. Last year, the event was canceled due to the pandemic. In 2021, the event is back with a virtual format. The event this year will benefit Lena Wiley, Director of the Interfaith Compassion Ministry. 

“Lena had a kidney transplant a couple of years ago, and the bills have mounted up. We would like to use this function to help reduce some of her burden,” a release from event organizers said. “Lena Wiley has made a happy life doing the big things in life for others. The mother of four children, Lena made it her life’s mission to not only raise a wonderful family but to also leave her community in a better place than she found it – spreading love, happiness, and caring compassion across Mississippi along the way.”

In September 1999, Wiley began a labor of love as Executive Director of Oxford/Lafayette Interfaith Compassion Ministry after many years of running a shoe repair business with her husband, Herbert. Lena worked tirelessly to help those less fortunate. Lena knows who is hurting, who is in need and how to make a difference.

The Interfaith Compassion Ministry is a non-denominational, community support agency dedicated to helping residents in need with utility costs, rent payments and repairs. Lena knows who needs help. But her work with ICM is only the tip of the iceberg of how she gives back. She has made it her life’s work to look after those who society often forgets. 

“We have all benefited from Lena’s work in Oxford and Lafayette County,” organizers said. “She gave her time, energy, money and love – now it is time for us to give back to her. It is the best way for the Oxford/Lafayette community to say, ‘Thank You, Lena!’” 

Since this year’s format for the drawdown is virtual, there are several new additions. Items include a virtual cooking school, a virtual talent show and the ability to buy freshly home baked items online.  

The event will continue to have the $10,000 drawdown where, with the purchase of a $100 ticket, you have a chance to win the $10,000. The maximum number of tickets to be sold is 500.  

The silent auction this year will be a little different. Bidders will be able to view and bid on the items online. Bidding on the items will begin on Thursday, April 15, 2021. There is an exceptional listing of auction items this year including gift baskets, dinners, trips, home goods, $250 Kroger gift cards and more.  

The wine pull will allow attendees to purchase a “pull” where they will receive 1, 2, or 3 bottles of wine in exchange for a donation to the wine pull. The wines in the wine pull are all excellent quality wines from local shops. Donation to the wine pull will allow donors to receive excellent quality wines at an astonishingly low price. 

All of the events may be viewed at www.bidpal.net/stjohnvirtualdrawdown. At this site, guests can view and bid on all of the items with no signup costs. All you need do is register on the site. You can also purchase your drawdown tickets at this site. Ticket purchase for the Drawdown may be made until 9 p.m. Friday night, April 16. 

The drawing for the $10,000 will be held Saturday evening, April 17, 2021 and will be livestreamed on YouTube from 6 until 9 p.m. Wine pull updates, silent auction updates, testimonials, and other updates will also be shown during that time. The YouTube link will be on the bidpal website after April 15. If you have any questions on the Drawdown, you may contact Kaleel Rahaim at krahaim@yahoo.com.

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