I've got to get myself some boots. Cowboy boots, to be precise.

That’s what everyone seem to be wearing at Saturday’s Boots, Bands & Barbecue events Saturday night, and I’m sure there must be magic in them, like Cinderella's glass slippers. Only cowboy boots don't turn you into a beautiful princess in a flowing gown. Their particular magic seems to be turning people generous and helping them to remember to care for others in our community.

I'll take that kind of magic any day.

Boots, Bands & Barbecue is the major fundraising event to support the Marshfield Area Community Foundation, and in supporting the foundation, those present Saturday were also supporting people all over the Marshfield area.

Organizations buy tables at the event, which includes excellent dining, first-rate music and charity auctions and raffles. For me, the the live auction with its friendly competitive bidding is the most fun of the event. Whether the item is Miranda Lambert concert tickets, a gas grill, a pistol or an adorable German Shepherd puppy, the bids are energetic and generous, and you kind of get caught up in the results, as you wonder who the puppy will go home to or whose driveway will benefit from the two donated load of gravel.

Meanwhile, there are people like me who can’t afford the big-ticket auction items, but who can come up with 100 extra bucks to purchase raffle tickets and tuck them into baskets for a truly cool array of prizes.

I tried for the iPad and the kayak and the big-screen TV and more, and I didn't win, but I can’t say that I came up empty. Really, I came up full — full of appreciation for people who are willing to give, full of excellent barbecue and full of the contentedness that a night surrounded by kind hearts can provide.

A total of $24,438 was awarded Saturday in the form of giant checks held by beaming recipients. (Their photos will appear in next week’s edition of The Mail.) The foundation has given 1,132 grants to the community since June of 2005, for a total largesse of $1,630,970. It’s stunning to think of how many people have benefitted over and over again from those gifts.

It’s enough to make you want to kick up your heels.

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