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Kiwanis Raise $23,000 at Annual Charity Auction

Kiwanis Club of Utica/Shelby Township holds Bids for Kids event to raise cash for community programs.

The Kiwanis Club of Utica/Shelby Township raised $23,000 at its 21st Annual Bids for Kids Charity Auction Feb. 12 at the New Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township.

Two hundred fifty guests bid on everything from an authentic Las Vegas-style slot machine to vacation packages and sports memorabilia–all  to raise money for the club’s community programs.

The auction is the second major fund-raiser for the club behind its golf outing, said  Kelley Mires, president and first-time cochair of the event.  In addition to community programs, the Kiwanis also assist city and township residents in need, Mires said.

Auction items were donated by local business and individuals.

Cochair Les Gilbert, a longtime Kiwanis member, has been involved with the auction for 18 years.

“No doubt about it,” Gilbert said, “it’s a team effort.”  Club members sell advance reservations and sponsor tables.

The event consisted of a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and a live auction emceed by Charlie Wickins, known as “The English Auctioneer.”

This was Wickins’ second year at the Bids for Kids event.  He said the best part about working with the Kiwanis is their selflessness.  “They raise money with no expectation of reward,” he said.

Silent auction items ranged from a vintage Goofy telephone, donated by Sharon Gorden, to a backyard fire pit set donated by Kirkland's

During the live auction, a Wrigley Field baseball package for two, which included a three-night stay at a Hyatt Regency hotel, sold for $1,000.  Another Tahoe Seasons Resort package, which included a four-person suite with a spa, sold for $900. 

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