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June 15, 2014

Chamber’s Bid Bash raises money for youth

DUNCAN — The Duncan Chamber of Commerce, Duncan Public Schools and the Food 4 Kids program teamed together Friday to raise money for children at the annual Bid Bash.

 Every Friday during the school year students  in need are given backpacks filled with non-perishable food items to take home over the weekend to ensure they have enough to eat.

Last year, about $12,000 was raised to donate food to the children. Sandy Stewart, the event coordinator, said she is hopeful that they raised more money this year.

“Last year, we were able to contribute almost three time the amount than they were able to give in the past,” she said.

The Bid Bash this year featured a Mexican buffet, entertainment and a live auction, a silent auction and a Chinese auction. A dessert auction was also held during the live auction.

“Just from the dessert auction, we’re close to $5,300. That’s triple what we did last year. Last year totally exceeded our expectations and this year we just want to exceed last year,” Stewart said.

Two high-dollar items were auctioned off at the event, bringing in a larger sum that will be used to feed Duncan children. Thunder tickets, paired with a limousine ride auctioned for close to $2,800. The highest dollar amount received for an item at the auction was $3,800 for a shrimp boil.

Three different types of sponsorships were available for donors. Businesses that donated $400 were classified as superhero sponsors and were able to provide one child a backpack for the full school year; businesses that donated $300 were classified as hero sponsers and were able to provide a child a backpack for half of the school year; those that donated $160 were sidekick sponsors. About 21 businesses sponsored the event.

Stewart said that the event, held at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, had an impressive  turn out.

“Its a great program,” she said. “Its one thing for someone to tell you that there are hungry children in our community but its another thing to actually put a face to that. Its heartbreaking. This is my favorite event that I get to do with the Chamber. What an honor to say that we can help, even just a little bit, to eradicate the problem of hunger in our community.”

Lisha Elroy, Principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary, said that its an amazing feeling to watch the program provide for her students. Her school, according to Stewart, has one of the highest needs in DPS.

“The thing about it is if kids come to school with their basic needs met, they’re loved, they’re fed, they’re not worried about those things, then they learn a lot better,” Elroy said. “We have a lot of kids who come to school and those basic needs aren’t met. They come to school hungry or they come to school looking for love. They’re looking to get those basic needs met so sometimes the last thing on their mind is schoolwork. I just think (this program) really helps us help them with that.”

Elroy said that last year, 65 backpacks were given to kids every Friday of the school year and that they could easily double that number.

“It’s just so important. I talk to good friends of mine in the community and they don’t know that there is that need and that there are hungry children in Stephens County and in Duncan so I think this helps bring in awareness for that,” Elroy said.

Stewart said that the total amount of money raised at the Bid Bash will be available Monday. Those interested in donating more to the cause can send donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

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