The Herald Bulletin

February 16, 2013

Bids for Kids kicks off with luncheon

Auction raised thousands to help area families, children

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — An upcoming fundraising luncheon for the annual Bids for Kids charity auction is celebrating 25 years of the community helping to raise money to prevent child abuse, organizers said.

Bonny Clark, chair of the kickoff event and past Noon Exchange Club president, said the March 5 event at The Edge is a way to give the community a chance to honor the efforts.

“Without the funding that we have been able to supply through Bids for Kids, the Family Resource Center may not even be here at this time,” Clark said.

“We want to get everyone excited about this year’s auction and celebrate everything we have done to this point.”

The cost for the luncheon is $10 but due to a sponsorship by the Edge, 100 percent of that amount will go toward Bids for Kids, she said. Other sponsors of the kickoff event include Community Hospital Anderson, ClipZone, The Salon Professional Academy and Edgewater Woods.

There will be special speakers including Family Resource Center (FRC) staff to talk about services they provide, entertainment and photos and videos from previous auctions.

Clark hopes to raise $10,000 during the luncheon and $100,000 for the event.

FRC Senior Director Jama Donovan said the Exchange Club’s Bids for Kids is critical in providing the services to families in the community at no cost.

Services include home-based case work, childcare vouchers and safe sleep classes. They are able to assist any family — no matter the socioeconomic status — and provide parenting resources such as discipline, nutrition, bonding and attachment.

They work with grandparents raising their children, single-parent homes, foster families, two-parent homes — any kind of parenting situation where a need exists, Donovan said.

In addition to the services FRC provides, they connect families with resources so they aren’t bouncing from agency to agency, she said.

“If we didn’t have this fundraising effort, we would have to dramatically reduce the number of families we are able to serve,” Donovan said. “Because of Bids for Kids, we have never had to turn  anyone away from services.”

The center began in 1982 built by funds raised from the Exchange Club.

David Dodd, Bids for Kids Foundation treasurer, has been involved with the auction for 14 years. The event began as a radio auction and switched to a cable broadcast. From three hours in length, the auction has grown to 20 hours of live broadcast followed by an in-person auction of leftover or unclaimed items on Sunday.

Sponsors have also grown, Dodd said, giving businesses an opportunity to be involved and get some advertisement. Sponsorships help raise awareness of the cause, he said.

With the 25th anniversary of the auction, he said there will be some special guests and T-shirts. There will also be a new website allowing bidders to donate and pledge online. Organizers are also working on streaming the auction live.

“We want to community moving toward the auction weekend and this luncheon is one way to build up to that,” Dodd said. “We are trying to create more energy around it.”

This is the first time that Bids for Kids will hold a kickoff luncheon for the entire community to rally for Bids for Kids.

Dodd said his favorite part of the auction is seeing the community come together working for a common good.

“It’s so special for me to see everyone talking and involved ins something that is good for the community,” he said. “And special for me, is that my youngest daughter will be coming with me to the auction. She’s been working at in since she was 10 and to see her develop and get involved in the community is important to me.”

Dodd stressed that giving this year is important with a continued economic downturn. Not only has the need increased, but the cost to produce the auction has gone up.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.