The old Carr's building in Kenai came alive once again Saturday, November 19th for the 24th Annual Boys and Girls Club Auction Gala. This year's theme was a "Pajama Party" and quite possibly the most comfortable event to occur on the peninsula in years. The theme was the inspiration of Erin Micciche who coordinated a platoon of volunteers to transform the former Carr's Mall into a slumber party palace to hold a record number of guests. There was a "Bounce House" for pillow fighting, silly string for sneak attacks on your neighbors dinner, a special girls room for having nails painted and hair braided and a musty basement with vintage games such as Atari, beer pong and Twister.
The event was primarily sponsored by Tesoro Alaska, a company that has stepped up for several years to support the club by sponsoring the auction. According to Boys & Girls Club board president and Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche the event was sold out, with each table being purchased in advance by many generous companies and community supporters. "Our community never ceases to amaze me with their generosity.", said Micciche, "As Boys and Girls Clubs across Alaska have struggled with nearly 100% cuts in federal funding, caring neighbors that recognize the importance of the clubs have opened their checkbooks to help us continue providing a safe and positive place for kids. We serve thousands of children and families in 6 locations from Seward to Homer and each community has risen to the challenge of keeping our doors open".
Aside from Tesoro as the primary sponsor, several other sponsors helped make the evening possible. Wells Fargo, Peak, The Eagles Club, Kenai Catering, The Back Door and NordAq Energy helped by sponsoring the live auction, the Key to the Dairy contest, the silent auction, a delicious pork loin dinner and sponsor-a-kid. Other large sponsors included the Navarre Family, Arby's, the Schilling Family and Dr. James and Diana Zirul.
Erin Micciche was honored for the hundreds of hours she and her team of volunteers spent decorating, collecting auction items and ensuring the auction's success. Latisha Sargent was also presented with flowers for all of her hard work on the auction. Other key volunteers included Carol Sheldon, Marlene and Roger Pearson, Annette Eggerman, Michelle and James Tangaro, Michelle Glaves, Liz Clark, Madi Micciche, Sabrina Gibbs, Alley Overway, Wells Fargo staff and several ConocoPhillips employees who helped set up the room and Kenai Central High School theatre provided the sound system that brought the event to life.
The event raised over $70,000 for the Boys and Girls Club, funding critical to sustaining the programs of the club according to Micciche, "The real stars of the party were the nearly 300 attendees whose generosity guarantees the survival of the club. Sure there were some great items to purchase at auction, but the biggest fund raiser of the evening was "Sponsor-a-kid", where supporters bid to simply send a child to the Boys and Girls Club for one year. They leave with nothing but the satisfaction that they are sending a kid to the club. This year's Sponsor-a-Kid raised over $11,000. Thanks to those for coming out to the Pajama Party to support the Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula. If you were unable to attend, the Boys and Girls Club always welcomes your donations and encourages you to call 283-2682 for more program and donor information," said Micciche.