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EPI event raises funds, awareness

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WATERLOO | Sunnyside Country Club was the setting one evening last week for Exceptional Persons Inc.'s entertaining fundraising event, More Than You See.

A crowd of 250 gathered to hear 176 Keys, a dueling piano duo from Michigan, and to bid on two spectacular auction items — a trip for two to Nashville's Country Music Awards and tickets for two to any regular season professional game, any sport.

EPI is a private, non-profit, charitable organization that supports individuals with disabilities and families with child care needs.

"Our theme was chosen to remind others to always look past the disability to see the person within," said event co-chair and EPI communications and development director Katie Slade. Her committee created a unique and comfortable setting by placing the dueling pianos in the middle of the ballroom, lining the stage perimeter with overstuffed chairs and adding high-top tables.

EPI director Chris Sparks noted it was the organization's first foray into planning a fundraising gala.

"Of course we hope to raise a few dollars for our employment program and children's services but more importantly we want to raise awareness," said Sparks.

Individuals served by EPI live and work in our community and earn wages in various work settings, which in turn helps to provide local businesses a stable, quality work force. For more information, call 232-6671 or go to www.episervice.org.

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