ROWENA – There was plenty of food, fun and music at the first annual Music for Meals event held Saturday at St. Joseph's parish hall in Rowena to benefit the Meals on Wheels and Meals For The Elderly programs.

ROWENA – There was plenty of food, fun and music at the first annual Music for Meals event held Saturday at St. Joseph’s parish hall in Rowena to benefit the Meals on Wheels and Meals For The Elderly programs.

The inaugural event raised almost $30,000 to fund the Meals on Wheels Plus and the Meals For The Elderly programs which provide daily home delivered meals to frail individuals in Winters, Ballinger, Miles and Rowena.

About 100 items were donated for the live auction, which featured four acoustic Alvarez guitars, three electric guitars, a child’s motorized car, a barbecue smoker, art work and household items.

Auctioneer Jody Frey started the bidding and guitar virtuoso and the headliner for the evening Brad Davis, played each one of the guitars as they were auctioned off. The last acoustic guitar went for over $800.

“I can’t believe this,” Davis said as the final bid came in for the guitar. “This is great!”

Runnels County Judge Barry Hilliard won the first acoustic guitar that went on the auction block and said he plans to “hang it on the wall in his office.”

As the evening progressed, Hilliard marveled at the numbers of people at the event and its success.

“This is just awesome,” Hilliard said.

Davis was accompanied by Tom Glosup and Crossfire and the band took the state following the auction and played a slate of country hits, which brought folks out to the dance floor. Davis, known for his own brand of “rockin’ blues Americana, was a crowd pleaser as he showed his skill with the guitar, playing his signature double down flat picking style.

Davis and Glosup donated their talent to the event. They opened the first set with “How Great Thou Art” and then followed that with many country favorites.

“This is such a worthy cause,” Glosup said. “We are happy to do it.”

Overall, the auction itself raised more than $10,000, thanks to the generous donations from many Runnels County residents. Sponsorships and ticket sales brought the grand total up to almost $30,000 for the first time event.

The event was made possible by many sponsors, including top tier sponsors Buddy’s Plant Plus, GPS Insurance, Brotherton Foods & Produce, Alvarez, Horn Brothers Construction, CRW Insurance, Sweetwater Steel Germania & CSG Insurance Agency and the Runnels County Register. Many other sponsors contributed to the event as well including area businesses and individuals.

The meal, which included pork loin and all the trimmings was prepared by Steve Halfmann and Ricky Strube and many, many volunteers, including youngsters from area 4-H organizations.

Betty Bradley, executive director of Meals on Wheels Plus of Abilene, reported Saturday that approximately 130 meals are now being delivered in Runnels County. Proceeds from this event will support the program in the coming months.

Bradley called the event a “great success.”

“I want to express our deep appreciation to all of the businesses and individuals who were sponsors, donated items for the auction, attended the event or volunteer their time and energy,” Bradley said. “The strong support we have received as we serve meals in Runnels County is deeply appreciated.”

Cyndi McConnell, who chaired the event agreed and said plans are already underway for the second annual event.

“I think we had a great kick off with our first Runnels County Music for Meals Benefit and we are pleased with the outcome,” McConnell said. “We are already looking down the road for our second county wide Music for Meals in 2018.”

Meals on Wheels Plus and Meals For The Elderly have been providing meals in Runnels County since Oct. 3, 2016, after the county ceased funding for the senior meals program. Since then, the number of clients has more than doubled from the original 60 to 130.

“We are looking forward to a continued strong partnership as we work together to drive away hunger, one meal at a time,” Bradley said.