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There are ‘Heroes Among Us’

Boys & Girls Club of SCV will host a gala auction celebration Saturday

Posted: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

From left, Tony Newhall, Jim Ventress, Bruce Krumrine and Julie Benson. The 41st Benefit Auction for the Boys & Girls Club of SCV will be held Saturday. Tickets are still available.

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It will be a night of celebrating the "Heroes Among Us," said Ronda Chobanian, development director of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

"We are going to honor military heroes, educators and people who have overcome traumatic circumstances in life and other everyday heroes," Chobanian said.

 

Indoors again

The 41st annual Benefit Auction for the Boys & Girls Club of SCV will be held Saturday in a building in the Gateway Promenade Shopping Center on The Old Road in Valencia near the Highway 126 interchange.

Jim Ventress, chief operating officer of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV, said he was pleased that the auction will be held indoors again.

"We're very excited by the location," he said. "It was down to the wire. We didn't get the site until last week. We've never gone this long without having the site locked up."

The auction historically has been housed in an indoor location, but spent several years outside at facilities donated by Mann Biomedical Park.

Finding an indoor location that can seat more than 800 guests is difficult, said Chobanian.

"We are so grateful to Dale Donohoe for finding this location for us," she said. "This year, there is a lack of empty space. It's all rented, which is good for the economy, but made it hard for us."

 

Critical auction

The success of the auction is critical to the club, Ventress said.

"We serve nearly 2,500 children a year," said Ventress. "We hope to net $250,000 this year, which is nearly 25 percent of our $1.1 million annual budget."

The club operates two clubhouses, in Newhall and Canyon Country.

"Summer is coming, and we'll have extended hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.," said Ventress. "It's a safe place for children to stay while parents are at work."

The auction, foundation grants and other fundraisers allow the club to keep dues at $36 a year, making the club affordable for all, Ventress said.

 

VIP Night

Presenting sponsors of this year's auction will be Richard and Marian Sandnes, IHOP Saugus and Canyon Country.

A VIP pre-event party was held Thursday evening at the Sandneses' Sand Canyon estate home.

Guests were able to preview the auction catalogue and view some of the live auction items up close.

"We love having our VIP event at the beautiful Sandnes home," Ventress said.

The Sandneses have been longtime supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV.

 

Volunteers

Among the 400 volunteers that help put on the auction is Pat Allen, an auction volunteer since 1982.

"I've been responsible for getting auction items every year since," she said. "It's been a little more difficult this year, but people have been good. We live in a good community, where everyone supports each other."

 

Auction items

The auction will include 50 live auction items and nearly 400 silent auction items, Chobanian said.

"We have a lot of exciting and unique items this year, many things that have never been seen before," she said. "Including the opportunity to visit the set of a new film that is being shot in New York in the fall."

Other items include:

n Princess Cruises 14 day cruise for 2 to Hawaii.

"The Princess Cruises Community Foundation is donating a 14 day Hawaiian island cruise, round trip from Los Angeles or San Francisco," said Julie Benson, Princess Cruises vice president, public relations. "One lucky couple will be cruising in a balcony stateroom, and we hope it raises a lot of money for the Boys & Girls Club."

n Six Flags Magic Mountain has stepped up with a number of exclusive live auction items including an opportunity to be the first to ride "Lex Luther: Drop of Doom," a private picnic at Hurricane Harbor for 50, the Coaster Connoisseur Tour for 25 and Fright Fest VIP package.

n Private Chateau and winery in Bordeaux, France. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a three-night stay for two at a private French chateau and winery.

 

Cocktail attire

Chobanian said the gala theme will allow guests to dress up this year.

"Since we're going to be in an indoor location, we're excited to take the auction back to its roots where it started as an upscale cocktail party," Chobanian said. "It doesn't have to be formal, but we hope to see more tuxedoes than jeans."

 

Closing remarks

Gary Condie, president of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV Foundation, said the auction is a "wonderful tradition" in the SCV.

"This is one of the premiere events in the SCV, and it is one of the most important sources of revenue for the club," he said.

Condie thanked RSVP Catering for providing the food at the VIP event and also saluted the auction volunteers.

"There will be about 400 volunteers, and we couldn't have the auction without them," he said.

Ventress also addressed the VIP crowd and introduced the 2012 SCV Man and Woman of the Year, Tom Dierckman and Myrna Condie, both nominated by the club.

Co-chairs of the auction are Bert and Jane Boeckman of Galpin Motors.

mbuttelman@the-signal.com

 

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