16th Annual Children’s Benefit Auction raises funds for local schools
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — On Friday night, the Shepherdstown Kiwanis Club held its 16th Annual Children’s Benefit Auction at Wildwood Middle School, featuring a silent auction and a live auction led by Auctioneer Densil Nibert.
While the event changes a little bit every year, depending on the items that have been donated by community members, attendees know they will find food and fellowship at the event.
“The camaraderie with the bidding and socializing is the best part of the evening,” said club secretary Adele Knott.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year. We had a good turnout, until the rain started pouring down,” Knott said. “We gathered more than $3,800 from the auction, 50/50, food sales and business sponsorships with City National Bank, Shepherdstown Pharmacy and Jefferson Security Bank.
“The proceeds support our childrens programs, like the K-Kids at T.A. Lowery Elementary School, the Builders Club at Wildwood Middle School and the Jefferson High School Key Club,” Knott said, mentioning the proceeds will also benefit local childrens organizations that are not related to Kiwanis. “We support the Shepherdstown Day Care Center, Curvy Girls for girls with scoliosis, anything that impacts children in the area.”
While this year’s auction was a week earlier than its usual date, Knott said the attendance was close to what the club would normally expect.
According to club president Kim Walls, the club’s work in local schools would not be possible without the backing of the community.
“Without the county’s support, we wouldn’t be able to go out into school and help kids. A lot of kids wouldn’t be able to be taught about community service,” Walls said, mentioning the goal of Kiwanis’ kids clubs. “It’s just trying to teach kids to be kind in a world that’s not always kind.”
The auction, Walls said, featured donations from a number of small businesses in the area, including Shepherdstown’s Blue Moon Cafe, Dan and Bryan Trees, Shepherd University Athletics Department, Christian Caine Design, Bavarian Inn, Mountaineer Popcorn, Shepherd University Music Department, Rumsey Tavern, Two Rivers Turnings, Potomac Farms Nursery, German Street Coffee and Candlery, Village Florist and Dickinson and Wait Craft Gallery.
“I can’t say enough about the Shepherdstown businesses that have donated stuff for the auction,” Walls said. “There are so many small businesses that are bombarded with requests like this all of the time, and I really appreciate how thoughtful they are in choosing our auction as a beneficiary for their donations.”
For Kearneysville residents Shirley and Dennis Cole, the auction is an event they have attended for a number of years, because they Shirley has seen how its proceeds benefit local children.
“I work at T.A. Lowery, so I’m a supporter,” Shirley said, mentioning she and her husband won several items in both auctions. “Tonight I won a beautiful handmade quilt that was probably worth about $600, a handmade basket that my girlfriend made and a few other strays we didn’t know we needed. The variety tonight was great.
“The support of Kiwanis is important — they are community people, and the community needs to support them. I know kids are a big part of their organization,” Shirley said.