Let’s get bids for the kids

Auction night benefits youth

Saturday night, the hot place in town will be the Roller Barn. The building will be transformed into a garden oasis and everyone in attendance will be dressed to the nines.

It will all be impressive fun in a place that’s familiar with fun, as the Roller Barn is home to the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor, the beneficiaries of the eighth annual Bids for Kids auction and dinner to be held Saturday.

Bids for Kids is the premier fund-raiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor. The club’s board and staff work to provide youth programs for the children of Oak Harbor that help develop good character traits, leadership skills and positive self-esteem.

Organizers have set a goal of $100,000 for this year’s auction and dinner, said committee member Kathy Chalfant.

This should be obtainable considering last year’s 175 attendees helped raise $90,000. And once again Island Thrift has promised a $20,000 match to ensure even more monetary security for the Boys and Girls Club programs.

“They are always very generous,” Chalfant said.

The night will be an opportunity for attendees to win auction items varying from Mariners ticket packages, a plethora of gift baskets, Kenmore Air tickets, fine art, portrait gift packages, theater tickets, Disneyland passes, Sonics tickets, spa and beauty packages, dining gift certificates, party packages, horseback riding lessons, vacation getaways and much, much more.

Would you like a chance to win a “Hearts on Fire” Fullfillment Triple Dream Pendant valued at over $9,000? The piece is donated by Gloria Carothers, owner of the Jewelry Gallery. Raffle tickets will only be sold at the “Bids for Kids” dinner and auction, and there are only 52 tickets available making it quite possible that you could join Geri Morgan, Lynn Goebel, and Diane Pierce, all past winners, in holding the winning ticket.

“We use a deck of cards as the tickets — it’s really great odds,” Chalfant said.

The auction and dinner are all to benefit kids like Miles Hartt, the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year.

This is the second year that Hartt earned the distinction.

“It’s an awesome experience and last year I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hartt said.

Hartt has been involved with club activities for years. He helps out with the after school tutoring program and he was a program aide last summer who oversaw sports activities.

At the Bids for Kids auction, he will don a tuxedo and talk at the fund-raiser about the club’s importance in his life.

He was one of three teenagers nominated for the award. The other nominees were Dillan Miller and Josh Pralle.

The teens had to write a paper about what the club means to them and then they were interviewed by a panel of club board members and residents.

Hartt is a senior at Oak Harbor High School and has a 3.0 grade point average. He was starting outside linebacker on the state championship football team and he was a captain of the wrestling team. He competed at the 145-pound weight class and he was an alternate at state.

When he is not competing in athletics, Hartt also participates in NJROTC, where he is a platoon commanding officer.

And when he’s not volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club he helps with a youth wrestling program.

When Hartt graduates, he is planning to attend Skagit Valley College and earn his associate’s degree and then move on to a four-year university. He hopes to eventually teach and coach wrestling.

To Chalfant, kids like Hartt are what supporting the club is all about.

“Oak Harbor needs a place for kids,” Chalfant said. “The Boys and Girls Club fulfills the need for a safe, drug-free place for kids with activities they enjoy.”

Reporter Nathan Whalen contributed to this story.