Annual Fundraiser

For a few hours on Saturday night of October 2, 2010, flapper dresses and fedoras made a fashion comeback. More than 350 people donned their best Roaring 20s outfits in support of the Boys and Girls Club 15th annual fund-raiser held at Big Bend Community College.

The night-long event included wine and microbrew tasting, silent auction, dinner and live auction. A jazz band filled the halls with lively tunes. “This auction has exceeded all of our expectations; we have exceeded the amount of money we raised last year,” said club executive director Brant Mayo.

Total profit raised from the fund-raiser will not available until later this week, he said. Last year, the fundraiser raised close to $125,000.

“Even with the tough economic times, everyone was extremely generous. We had such a nice turnout this year,” said Mayo.

Approximately 270 items were up for auction at this fundraiser. Former Moses Lake resident artist Anthony Kaufmann’s structural piece was bought by a local business for $3,500, according to Mayo. The business then donated the artwork back to the Boys and Girls organization.

Money from the fundraiser will go toward operational budget costs only, said Boys and Girls Club board president Bob Tatum. He said the club board works hard each year to come up with a fund-raiser theme.

Last year, the fundraiser’s theme was the Kentucky Derby, and James Bond was the theme for 2008. “We like to have people have fun while they are supporting us. It’s also a good way to get supporters back each year,” said Tatum.

Attending their fifth club fundraiser, Chuck and Lori Sutton said the event is a way to give back to the community. “We’ve raised our entire family here and now its time to give back to Moses Lake,” said Lori Sutton. “Our children never wanted anything because we were able to give them things they wanted. Now they are out of the house, we want to help kids in need,” said Chuck Sutton. “Everyone should have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

Dressed in a vanilla cream argyle vest, checkered pants, knee-high socks and a newsboy cap to top off the old school look, Don Kersey said he has been coming to the fund-raiser for years. “It’s a really good cause; I hope they raise a lot of money for the club,” said Kersey, who donated a bottle of wine to be auctioned. “Whatever breaks we can give the kids, I’m all for it,” said Kersey, a Moses Lake resident.

The Moses Lake club currently has about 850 members, according to Mayo. Forty percent are Hispanic, 45 percent are Caucasian and 15 percent are comprised of various minority groups, he said. “More than 70 percent of our members are qualified to receive free or reduced lunch at school,” said Mayo.

Membership costs $10 per child, but the club does not turn anyone who cannot afford membership dues away, he said. “We are starting to run out of room at the Moses Lake club. We are near capacity with members,” said Tatum. He said club officials are looking to build another Boys and Girls club near Park Orchard Elementary School located at Paxson Drive. “In a perfect world, with all the funds raised for the new club, we would begin building the new club at the end of Spring 2011,” said Mayo.

This year’s fundraiser was sponsored by the Moses Lake Lioness Club.