According to dictionary.com, a benefit is "a theatrical performance or other public entertainment to raise money for a charitable organization or cause."
I don't know that I've ever been to a benefit that was a theatrical performance or even entertainment. They usually involve a great meal and the opportunity to bid on, buy, or win by way of a raffle any number of items.
I love to go to benefits. I know that the whole reason for the benefit isn't always a positive thing...someone has cancer or has been in a horrible accident. But I try not to dwell on that. I focus on the fact that GOOD people plan and organize a huge event. And a whole crowd of GOOD people come together to drop a nickel or a dime to help support the cause. And as a reward for being GOOD, you too can "benefit".
You usually get a great meal. You may have the opportunity to win or purchase various items. And most importantly, you can enjoy fellowship and camaraderie, and even advocacy and education about the reason for the benefit. Learning more about cancer, for example, helps us all to be a little more aware of how we can better take care of ourselves to potentially avoid the necessity of a future benefit.
Last night, I went to a benefit for a co-worker's husband who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. They lost a child to cancer several years ago. It's just a sad story. But it wasn't sad last night. It was inspiring. So many people, so much love and support. I was blessed to be part of it.
According to dictionary.com, a banquet is "a lavish meal, a feast, a ceremonious public dinner often benefiting a charity."
Tonight, I was again blessed. This was the night for the annual ACCTS banquet. ACCTS stands for Area Christian Churches Together in Service. The Christian churches in Loogootee (maybe Martin County) come together to make a meal, serve the meal, provide prizes for EVERY family that attends, and then send EVERY family home with two bags of groceries. I LOVE this event. This year was the 7th annual. SEVENTH! How amazing is that?! I'm already looking forward to the 8th.
God is good!