The Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as an annual fundraising event that provides grant funds to dozens of nonprofit organizations that assist underserved children.
“We kicked off the 40th celebration with a webinar for all of our volunteers on May 19, powered by The Enablement Group, and we updated our volunteers on the 2021 auction,” said Executive Director Jennifer Kelley.
Created in 1981 as a one-day radio auction—the brainchild of Warren Bailey, then a DJ for WLNH—the annual event has since raised over $7 million for children and families in the Lakes Region.
“It has evolved so much, and it really is a tradition,” said Bailey. “There are so many people I run into who come here to visit relatives. Not a year goes by that I don’t see somebody who shares a memory of being a child who benefited. They reminisce about the past and say it’s not Christmas until they get into the Lakes Region so they can listen and hear and see the Auction.”
Bailey feels a tremendous sense of pride that he founded the auction. “From the very beginning, when I witnessed the unseen poverty and brought the idea back to the radio station, members of the community said, ‘Yes, how can I help?’”
“That generosity continues now with the 40th,” he added. “It’s now such a large organization that helps out so many.”
The auction’s mission is to engage the community to financially support children in need with a vision to ensure that every child is empowered to succeed and positively impact a thriving Greater Lakes Region community.
In its 40th year, leaders of the auction, including Executive Director Jennifer Kelley and a 17-member board, want to spread the word about the good work it does in the Lakes Region.
These are some ways area residents can help:
Learn more about the Auction by visiting our website. “We help agencies that support children in need by providing basic needs, like food, clothing, and shelter; services to help mitigate those needs; and educational and recreational opportunities that kids would not have access to otherwise,” said Jaimie Sousa, board chairperson.
Tell 40 people about the Auction’s work and how it improves the lives of children and families in the Lakes Region—whether in person, via email or on social media. “Helping us spread the word will make the community stronger by increasing auction donations and bids,” Sousa said.
Help recruit Auction items or fundraise. You will have fun and make great friends in the process.
Make a donation. Said Sousa, “Financial support allows us to expand opportunities for children. Each year we have many more deserving grant requests than we can possibly meet. We have grown incredibly, but there is still more to do. Consider giving $40 as a celebration of 40 years!”