POLAND — The 14th annual Autumn Night Out to benefit the hospice program at Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice was held at the Poland Spring Inn and Resort on Oct. 20, and support of the independent, nonprofit organization exceeded all expectations.

The event raised more than $100,000, making it the most successful fundraiser in the organization’s history. The success was due in part to the contributions of sponsors, those who donated auction items, and the many volunteers and attendees who bid on auction items.

“The generosity of those who support our organization at events like Autumn Night Out continues to amaze,’’ said AHCH President and CEO Kenneth Albert. “The success of our community events helps to ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of all patients regardless of their ability to pay. We are both grateful for and humbled by the support.”

Dinner was followed by a live auction led by Maine humorist Gary Crocker. Some  items that were up for bid included a Gulf of Maine tuna fishing expedition, an in-home dining experience with Hell’s Kitchen participant/celebrity chef Heidi Parent, an adult-sized wooden rocking horse and an African safari.

One of the highlights of the evening was the launch of the Life Happens Fund, which is dedicated to providing support that cannot be received in another fashion to improve a patient’s quality of life.

A video that told the story of AHCH’s ability to make a patient’s dying wish to see a Red Sox game at Fenway Park come true introduced the concept of the fund. Attendees responded with $16,000 in cash donations.

Autumn Night Out Emcee Norm Karkos and Heather Printup led a spirited game of Top Hats and Coat Tails. (Photos courtesy of Gini Haines Photography)

Auctioneer Gary Crocker tested one of the more unique auction items, a handcrafted adult-sized rocking horse built by AHCH volunteer Paul Dupuis. (Photos courtesy of Gini Haines Photography)

Annette Nadeau is cheered on during bidding on one of the live auction items. (Photos courtesy of Gini Haines Photography)

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