After months of hard work and preparation by volunteers, board members and employees, the Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula held their Annual Auction Gala on Saturday, November 14th at the Old Carr’s Mall in Kenai. As the doors opened, a record number of nearly 500 attendees entered into a transformed space that was decorated with a “Where there is Goodness, There is Magic” theme. The “magic” was soon apparent.
Co-Chairs of this year’s 28th annual event were Senator Peter and Erin Micciche. “The decorating magic for the event was made by the talent of Erin’s decorating team that started their labor months in advance transforming what is essentially a large warehouse space into a magical atmosphere,” said Sen. Micciche. When asked about her work, Erin first praised the group effort of others on her team. “I had an amazing team of ladies and two men dedicated to the children of the Kenai,” she said. “They found the time in their busy lives between raising kids and making a living at various locations around town building the large theme pieces and preparing for the final event. I’d like to recognize the team, which included; Sue Stein, Erin Slemp, Marlene Pearson, Missy Bever, Tim Navarre, Stephanie Hunt, Gina DeBardelaben, Jackie Renfro, Sara Pozonsky, Robin Forsi, Carol Bannock, Audrey Walazek, Scott Best, Sandra Sterling, Wendy Focose and Felicia Jones,” said Erin.
As the event got underway it was apparent that the many moving parts of the well-oiled Boys and Girls Club Auction machine were seamless and a lot of fun was had by all. There were games, silent and live auctions. Several large items were offered as raffle items with the highlight of the evening being the drawing of a winning ticket for a 2016 Polaris Ranger 570 EPS. Senator Micciche who doubled as the evenings auctioneer was visibly impressed by the generosity of the community and expressed his appreciation. “I have to start by thanking so many, frankly hundreds, for their support of our kids. From Tesoro the main sponsor to Governor Walker who not only came, but also donated two auction items. Diane Kaplan from Rasmussen presented us with a $25,000 check. The Kenai Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association presented us with $50,000 and Apache and the T-200 Team presented us with over $18,000 from their Rainbow Challenge fishing event. We recognized Credit Union 1 for their generosity. We have yet to arrive at a net number, but our gross funding from this year’s gala is well over 30% above last year’s event,” said Micciche. “It goes to show that as the economy tightens, community members will continue to support services they see as key to the success of our youth. We saw it at this year’s Food Bank auction and we experienced it here tonight for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. My hat is off with a heartfelt thanks to the many generous community members, organizations, Alaskan corporations, board and staff that have once again stepped up the plate to support a service critical to our children and their families. It proves to be just one more reason for the deep pride I feel for being honored to represent the generous community members of District O here on the Kenai,” said Micciche in an interview. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula serve kids at eight locations across the Peninsula with over 420 youth entering Club doors every day.