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Junior League of Albany to host CMN, Albany Autism benefit

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Junior League of Albany is presenting to the public a way to give their backyard a makeover and support a worthy cause at the same time.

The Junior League is hosting its first "Backyard Bash" Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Doublegate Country Club on Old Dawson Road.

The event will be a reverse raffle, with the grand prize being a backyard makeover valued at $5,000, which is being donated by ProForm Complete Landscaping.

The proceeds will go to benefit the Albany Autism Center and Children's Miracle Network.

"We wanted to come up with a fresh, new idea," said Katie Hughey Gatewood, the event's co-chair. "People look forward to making over their yards in the spring."

The ticketholder must be present at the drawing, which will take place between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., to win. The raffle tickets will be issued upon entry. There will be other items to be won during the raffle, such as a patio set and a gas grill.

"Even if you don't win the ($5,000 prize), there will be several chances to win other prizes," Gatewood said.

The grand prize is deliverable within a 90 mile radius of Albany, and can be used for a home or a business.

"Anybody can use a backyard makeover," said Junior League President Jenni Carpenter. "We've heard of people from several towns coming (to the event). I think there will be a good mixture of people (present)."

The Junior League has been working with the Children's Miracle Network for some time, while the Albany Autism Center is its new signature project.

Giving back is a big part of what the Junior League does, and both organizations are ones that the League's members feel strongly about.

"A lot of our members have children and families," Carpenter said. "We felt they were worthy causes to support."

The Backyard Bash will be the second of two fundraisers for the League's 2010-11 year. The first fundraiser was the Triple Crown event held in October. In addition, the League is also involved in other community service projects such as diaper drives and providing Christmas gifts to underprivileged children.

"The League reaches out to several community organizations throughout the year," Gatewood said.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served at the event, and there will also be a cash bar at the bash. Music is being presented by Queen Kong.

"It will be a very casual event," Gatewood said. "We would like people of all ages to join us.

"It will just be a night of fun and great fellowship."

Tickets are $25 per person in advance and can be purchased at Hughey & Neuman, Make Room for Baby and Custom Interiors. Tickets can also be bought at the door for $30.

For more information, contact Gatewood at katie.hughey@gmail.com or by calling (229) 881-0743.