The SandPaper

LBI Rotary Auction a Gala, Enjoyable Evening

Benefits Many Community Programs

On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Long Beach Island Rotary Club will host its 37th annual Holiday Auction at the Mainland Holiday Inn Grand Ballroom, Route 72 East in Manahawkin.

“This is a fun holiday event that includes themed packages, silent and live auctions, as well as gourmet foods, entertainment and an open bar,” invites the Rotary Club. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the auctions and fare begin at 6 p.m.

Proceeds benefit the extensive support that LBI Rotary donates to scholarships and community programs. LBI Rotary is a generous supporter of the Southern Regional High School scholarship program, contributing $750,000 since its inception and sponsoring several school leadership and achievement programs. The club is also a large contributor to Saint Francis Community Center service projects as well as the food pantry.

“We are asking for your support to allow us to continue to simply help others,” said Bob Stohrer, who has chaired the auction for all 37 years.

An upscale menu at serving stations will include prime rib, pork tenderloin, shrimp and risotto, pastas, gluten-free choices, vegetarian selections and more.

Several procedures are new and better to enhance the experience. The three-part auction continues its record of top-notch and varied items. Top of the line are Taylor Swift concert tickets – the May concert tour made news by overloading electronic ticket sales. Word has it that “some people who got tickets paid $22,000; it will be interesting to see how much these tickets go for,” Stohrer noted.

Electronics, electronic bikes, vacations, sports memorabilia, paintings, artwork, toys, gifts, themed baskets that were donated by businesses and individuals, the list includes so many items – 65-inch TVs, Oculus viewers and more.

“It’s a little different than anything we’ve done before,” Stohrer said. “We ask bidders to go to the website and sign up; that’s what will make everything seamless. We’re using a software program for bidding with mobile phones for the silent auction, and with the program we’re hoping that registration and exit will be a lot more comfortable. Everything will be tabulated throughout the auction, and when you go to leave, there won’t be any confusion and lines.”

Starting off the auction will be a gift auction in themed groupings such as fishing, holiday, home goods and others, followed by a silent auction of about 70 items, leading up to the live auction of about 35 highlighted prizes.

“It’s a busy night, but it’s a good social night, too,” remarked Stohrer. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m., and at that time a three-hour open bar begins. It runs through dinner. Live music for the evening will be provided by Chris Fritz.

The ticket donation is $150 per person.

“We did well with this auction from the beginning, and it’s getting better as time goes on,” Stohrer said. “We netted $70,000 last year; that was our best year so far, and we’re hoping to do better this year.”

Patrons can participate by advertising in the event’s auction book, donating an item to be used in the auction, and/or, of course, attending that evening.

Complete information can be seen at the website, which shows auction information, tickets, sponsorship opportunities and details. The information is also on the QR code on advertisements and can be opened after taking a picture of the code on a mobile phone. Rotary Club members also have tickets.

The club is also conducting a parallel auction to benefit the Southern Regional High School Multiply Disabled Program.

Southern Regional’s MD program serves students who have special physical and cognitive needs. Real-life work experiences are designed to increase their social confidence while exposing them to workplace opportunities giving them the experience and basic skills to become a successful employee in the community’s workforce.

Southern pursues this goal by scheduling many outbound excursions throughout the school year and through a Job Coaching program that allows students to be part of the local workforce while under the supervision of a paraprofessional.

— Maria Scandale

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