Yes, that would be Augie Greiner, founder of Greiner’s Fine Clothing, a downtown Ocala mainstay since 1962. That also would be Augie Greiner, the former University of Florida basketball player who became a lifelong booster for his beloved Gators.
And, certainly, Augie Greiner, the family man — husband and father of four — and avid community advocate until his death in 2010.
Gateway Bank bestowed the posthumous honor last month at an event hosted by HUGS Charities. Founded in 2007 by Michael Koontz and Manal Fakhoury, HUGS (which stands for Heartfelt Unconditional Giving) is a nonprofit organization that raises funds locally to prevent and treat cancer, and provide support to patients and their families.
Once a year, the group hosts a Community Hug event to honor an individual for their efforts in the fight against cancer.
“On top of the fact that everybody loved Augie — he was just a great person and . . . we wanted to honor his life — the event was also a fundraiser,” said Koontz.
Greiner died of prostate cancer, a prevalent disease in men.
“His big regret was that he didn’t go to the doctor earlier,” said Koontz. “Like almost all cancers, prostate cancer is curable if you find it early enough.”
Before his death, Greiner spoke to others about the importance of getting regular medical examinations.
The evening event at Gateway Bank on Jan. 19 was not somber, though.
“We had videos playing, showing Augie throughout his life. And Barbara Fitos spoke on the family’s behalf. But there was no formal program. Mostly, it was just a fun party honoring Augie,” said Koontz.
The $50 ticket price included hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Festivities included live entertainment and a silent auction. The theme, “of course,” said Koontz, was Gator basketball.
Silent auction items included five paintings donated by Carol Hennessey, as well as basketball memorabilia donated by UF head basketball coach Billy Donovan and the basketball team.
About 250 people attended.
“It was a great turnout. All of our children and grandchildren were there,” said Susan Greiner, Augie Greiner’s wife. She said she was very pleased HUGS honored her husband and that proceeds went toward the cause.
“HUGS did a fabulous job (with the event). It’s just a wonderful organization that does a lot for the cancer community, not only with research, but also for individuals’ needs,” said Susan Greiner.
Proceeds from the event totaled $12,000, said Koontz.
The funds will be used in developing the new Cancer Alliance of Marion County. The network, noted Koontz, encourages communication and collaboration among cancer-prevention organizations, thus working to prevent overlapping services.
For more information about the Cancer Alliance of Marion County, visit http:// crushcancermc.wordpress.com.
- Donations, sponsorships still welcome for Ankeny school foundation fundraiser
- Heights Association seeking donations for auction
- Breast Cancer Charities of America hosts Woodlands chocolate, wine tasting
- Small Army for a Cause Invites All Cancer-Related Charities to Benefit from Be …
- Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation Increases 2012 Revenue By Nearly 40 Percent