Boys & Girls Club celebrates 20th annual auction

When asked how old he is, Jackson Lindorfer quickly says he is 5. Then he remembers he just turned 6 and flashes a toothless grin many a 6-year-old shares.

Jackson, who is enrolled in the KinderKids program at the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim, says his favorite activity is reading the books. Others in the program chime in with their favorites: recess, the swings, learning the ABCs, puzzles and games.

KinderKids is one of many activities at the Boys & Girls Club. It's a morning activity when the club building, at 400 W. Fir St., is relatively quiet. Come afternoon, it's a different story, when more than 300 children are engaged in one of dozen activities.

"We call it controlled chaos," says Stephen Rosales, a volunteer at the club.

Controlled chaos, however, needs more than patience and volunteers who love children. It takes money. And quite a bit of that money comes from the annual auction, 30 percent of the budget, actually.

This year the Boys & Girls Club, whose formal name is the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula to reflect the clubs in both Sequim and Port Angeles, will host its 20th auction.

Historically the auction has been a huge success, bringing in an average of $200,000. Last year the auction raised $215,000. This year the goal is $250,000, according to Stacy Ceder, resource development director and auction chairwoman.

"We are optimistic, even in this time of economic downturn," Ceder says. "We are going to push for the best auction."

Having a theme of the Roaring '20s might help toward that goal. The building will be decorated with memorabilia from that decade, often characterized as a period of prosperity and optimism.

Optimism is something volunteers, board members and directors are not lacking. This year has been financially challenging with the board warning the club has enough money to sustain itself through February 2009. Meeting the budget depends on whether this year's auction will meet its goal.

"If we don't make our goal, things will be tough," Rosales says.

So far, big-ticket items include a 50-inch, big screen television, complete with DVD player, a washer and dryer combo donated by Sears and a refractive procedure worth $5,200 donated by local ophthalmologist Matthew Niemeyer. This is the second year Niemeyer has donated eye surgery, which could be anything from Lasik eye surgery to removal of cataracts.

Clallam County firefighters are donating what they call a five-alarm dinner, whereby the successful bidders are picked up in a fire truck and treated to dinner cooked up by firefighters. A Seahawks package that features breakfast at Sequim's Oak Table Cafe, transportation to and from the game and dinner in Silverdale is on the bidding block, as well.

Rosales also promises a surprise auction item.

"It's a surprise, so I'm not telling," he says. But, he hinted, "It might have something to do with water and fishing."

Auction-goers will have to wait and see - and bid.

There also will be a plethora of silent auction items. Ceder says she hasn't seen a big drop in donations.

Cedar Creek Restaurant will provide dinner, which includes either a surf and turf of salmon and beef short rib, or a vegetarian option of cannelloni.

Jackson and his KinderKids pals don't know much about auctions, but they do know what they like and that is to come to the Boys & Girls Club throughout the week.

Other programs, such as the relatively new Tween program that caters to middle school youths, also are dependent on how well the auction does.

Rosales says everyone at the club is planning for a sold-out event that will meet their goal.

The annual Boys & Girls Club dinner auction takes place on Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Tickets are available, call 683-8095 for reservations.

20th annual Boys & Girls Club dinner auction

Saturday, Nov. 15,

Boys & Girls Club, Sequim

Doors open at 5 p.m.

For tickets or to donate auction items call the Boys & Girls Club at 683-8095

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