The annual fundraiser for 3HC and Kitty Askins Hospice Center is fast approaching, with several changes this year to give it more of a festive feel, said April Brantham, community development director for the organizations.

In addition to moving the Feb. 16 event to the Maxwell Center, she said it will be a plated dinner instead of buffet and feature a live auction rather than the previous silent auction. The popular raffle will also be tweaked slightly, she added, but instead of a reverse format will be a regular raffle.

“We’re still giving away $5,000 in cash over five raffle winners, selling single tickets for $50 a person instead of couple tickets only for $100, and we’ve added the dancing portion back with DJ Tommy King,” she said. “We want the fundraiser to have more of a party, celebration vibe for our king and queen couples.”

There will be four area couples vying for the title of king and queen, an honor earned by a variety of creative efforts to raise the most money for the cause. 

Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at 3HC, at 2402 Wayne Memorial Drive, and Kitty Askins Hospice Center, at 107 Handley Park Court. They will be sold through Feb. 12.

The biggest change to the fundraiser is the location, Brantham said.

“The space at the Maxwell Center is much larger, so more guests can attend,” she said. “We just outgrew Walnut Creek Country Club.”

Since the largest portion of revenue generated has been through the raffles and events created by the couples competing for king and queen, the decision was also made to spotlight them.

The couples participating this year include Brian and Michelle Hope, Jay Kornegay and Blair Mozingo, Daniel and Amanda Outlaw and Perry and Paula Shaw.

The Hopes have both had family members benefit from the services at 3HC and Kitty Askins, prompting them to support this year’s fundraiser so that the programs will continue for other families in need.

Brian, a lineman for Tri-County Electric Membership Corp., and Michelle, an exceptional children’s teacher at Grantham Elementary, have been married for 15 years. They have an 8-year-old son, Benjamin.

Kornegay is a crop adjuster for Farm Bureau and owns Southern Coastal Land and Timber. Mozingo is an insurance coordinator at Harvey and Associates Family Dentistry and executive director for LimeLife by Alcone, a makeup company. They are engaged and in the midst of planning their Sept. 21 wedding.

The Outlaws met on a blind date in college and have been married two years. Daniel works at Cape Fear Farm Credit as a loan officer and his wife teaches fourth grade at B.F. Grady Elementary School. They have a 9-month-old son, Declan.

The Shaws have a blended family of four daughters and have been married five years. Perry, a Wayne County native, works with his family’s business, Shaw’s Refrigeration. Paula moved here from Wilmington to attend dental hygiene school. She also owns and operates Fit Body Boot Camp in Goldsboro and south Cary.

Doors open for the event at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. It will be catered by The Flame.

There will be a brief program and the live auction, followed by the crowning of the Mardi Gras king and queen. Dancing will be held from 9 until 11 p.m.