Light candles for Bethesda’s Birthday Bash

Staff Photo

Everyone loves a party and when it happens to be a birthday party it's even better. Cake, presents, party favors – did I mention cake?

Friday, Sept 20 at Villa di Felicita there will be lots of birthday fun and more cake than any party-goer could know what to do with at the Bethesda Birthday Bash.

Celebrating 10 years of the Bethesda Clinic, this year's Birthday Bash will be filled with surprises that include uniquely decorated cakes, a creative panel of celebrity decorators and plenty of party hats, favors, dinner, dancing and fun.

This year's celebrity cake decorators include Shannon Dacus, Dr. Jennifer Holman, Reverend David Luckenbach, Dr. Rod Mabry, Suzie Rippy, Mollianna Redding Scates, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, John Soules and Reverend Pike Wisner.

If you've never been to the event it is a certainly one of the most entertaining fundraisers you will attend all year. Each decorator is given a plain white cake, donated by Super 1 Foods, which they have to decorate on-site with provided decorating tools and a few themed props they are each allowed to bring.

They have a limited amount of time to decorate, while other guests are watching, and then all the cakes are displayed for everyone to see.

After dinner, Mayor Barbara Bass and J.B. Smith warm up the microphone and prepare to auction off each of the decorated cakes to the highest bidder. By the end of the evening, the nine uniquely decorated cakes and the humble, yet entertaining, pleas from the decorators will have raised thousands of dollars for the clinic.

While the cakes aren't really worth thousands, the work that the Bethesda Clinic does in the community is priceless. Acting as a Christ-centered ministry their mission is to provide affordable, high-quality care for those in need in of medical and dental treatment, as well as healthy living programs in Smith County.

Before Bethesda, those in need had to go to a local hospital's emergency room for medical care. Their state-of-the-art facility eases the burden on local ERs while serving a neglected segment of our population in a professional and dignified environment.

Bethesda serves low-income working adults who live or work in Smith County, and have no health insurance. Patients pay a nominal fee based on their income level. Bethesda offers primary and specialty care health services and programs. Approximately 285 primary care physicians and specialists, along with some 85 nurses, volunteer their services. The clinic's professional medical staff and volunteer professionals are further supported by about 300 non-medical community volunteers.

All proceeds raised from the tickets, cakes and auction items offered at the Birthday Bash will be used to support the operations of the clinic.

A lady's Rolex watch donated by Susan Robinson Jewelry will be hidden in one of the cakes and whoever bids on and wins that cake will also receive the watch.

"We are so grateful to our generous sponsors and celebrity cake decorators for helping create a wonderful evening for this celebration," Bethesda Director of Development Diane Thomason said.



Auction Chairman Debbie Washmon is excited about the items donated for the premier silent auction and the party hat dining gift cards.

"We have a wonderful selection of unique items this year," she said.

The Potpourri House donated a $500 Pandora gift certificate for a drawing. COLE & Co. donated jewelry and others donated travel packages.

Other items include Drive the Track racing experience by Butler Racing; items from U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and state Sen. Kevin Eltife; boots, bags and jewelry; and unique art items from East Texas artists.

Carolyn and Robert Cerbo will provide the live music.

"They have provided music for many dance groups in Tyler and surrounding areas," said Band Coordinator Doris Sharp.



Major supporters are Sandra and Ed King of Chick-fil-A and John Soules Foods.

Other sponsors are David and Cathy Krafve, Austin Bank, Azalea Orthopedics, Bancorp South, Butler Racing, and Kimberly and Dr. Chip Swinney, Brick Street Pharmacy, Brookshire Grocery Co., Eye Care Associates of East Texas, Mac Moseley and White-Shaver PC, Rita Adams, Bosworth & Associates, Herb and Melvina Buie and Cavender's.

Also, EOG Resources, Catherine and Dr. Craig Harrison, Roger and Connie Harrison, John and Martha Minton, Barbara Sjerven, Richard Gibson, Texas Spine & Joint Hospital, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, Dean and Brenda Cagle, Joe and Patty Canterbury, Henry & Peters, Hibbs Hallmark, Patterson Dental Supply, Petty's Irrigation & Landscape, Regions Bank, Texas Bank and Trust, Thomas and Pam Smith, Southside Bank and Joseph and Linda Woelkers.



For tickets ($100/person or table for 8/$1000) or more information, contact Gina Butler at 903-735-3947, or Diane Thomason at 903-521-6185,


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