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BGCL Auction Exceeds $450,000

April 12, 2018

Approximately 220 attendees raised over $450,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence at its Rat Pack-themed auction, which took place on April 7 at DiBurro's in Haverhill. The auction is the club's largest annual fundraiser toward its $3.1 million operating budget for critical programs focusing on academic success, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement for more than 4,000 youth members at two locations.

Attendees enjoyed dinner and cocktails while bidding on more than 200 silent and live auction items. Markus Fischer, the club's executive director, said he is humbled by the generosity of community members whose generosity "literally helps keep our doors open."

Famed speed painter Rob Surette of North Andover, known for inspiring television and live audiences with his Amazing Hero Art, opened the evening by creating a six-foot painting of Albert Einstein which fetched a winning bid of $3,000. North Andover resident Frank Cieri, a member of the club's Board of Advisors, then presided over bidding for other rare opportunities such as two golf experiences at Pebble Beach, California, which each raised $11,000. Tuscan Brands founder Joe Faro of Windham, N.H. helped raise $5,000 by donating two chef's table dinners for eight at Tuscan Kitchen; an 18-person suite at a sold-out Elton John concert donated by Asahi/America fetched $9,000; and the Bank of New England/DeLuca Family donated an overnight golf trip for four to Turner Hill in Ipswich which brought in $4,500.

Other popular items included beachfront villa rentals in Puerto Vallarta and Oahu, an overnight stay in New York City with tickets to "Hamilton" on Broadway, premier Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins tickets with fan experiences, a makeover for 10 at Robert Jason Salon in Andover, autographed sports memorabilia, jewelry, and home goods.

In addition, attendees bid on items benefiting club kids rather than themselves. One individual donated $6,000 toward a qualified youth member attending the prestigious Phillips Academy Summer Session. Longtime club supporters Paul and Diane Tower, owners of Andover Animal Hospital, requested that the club keep their $5,000 raffle prize. In addition, event sponsorships were provided by Bill DeLuca's Woodworth Motors of Andover, Bank of New England, Brooks Properties of Salem, N.H., and Lowell Five.

There were two keynote speakers. Deb Nealon, whose 12-year-old daughter Grace and 9-year-old son Sean are youth members, said the club has come to mean far more than a place for her children to do their homework, go to swim practice, participate in STEM programs, and eat supper.

"The club has played an enormous role in strengthening the self-esteem of both my children. As a parent, I am proud of the direction they are headed in," she said. "The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence is changing kids' lives, as well as my own."

Club alumnus Jason Martinez, a graduate of Central Catholic High School and Bentley University who worked at State Street Corporation before transitioning into real estate sales, makes giving back to the club a priority because of the scholarship guidance and other opportunities provided to him.

"All kids need the opportunity to do something powerful with their lives," he told the audience of club supporters, "which is exactly what you give to all of us."

 

Did You Know?

86% of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence’s income comes through donations from individuals, corporations, organiztions, foundations and special events.