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Radiothon raises money, awareness for Boys and Girls Club of Massena

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MASSENA — The Boys and Girls Club of Massena took another financial step forward in its capital campaign during day-long radiothon and auction Thursday at the Massena Elks Lodge.

Broadcast throughout the day on 1340 WMSA radio, the “Bids for Kids” Radiothon and Auction netted $12,578 in bids and donations, with the morning bids totaling $2,302, the afternoon bids totaling $2,360 and the all-day bids totaling $1,926. The phones were furious as the last minutes of the event ticked away, with callers and in-person bidders trying to win their packages of choice.

Timmy J. Currier, chairman of the club’s board of directors, said that for the first-time effort it didn’t set a goal it wanted to reach by day’s end.

The club solicited bids throughout the day for packages that had been donated and accepted checks, including a $5,000 donation from Amvets Post 4.

Amvets Commander James Gardner said the club wasn’t stopping with the $5,000 check.

“We’re going to give them $1,000 every year for the next five years,” he said as he and Ronald A. Faucher presented the check to Mr. Currier.

The Amvets membership had met this week to determine where its latest donations would go and, in addition to the Boys and Girls Club of Massena, it had checks for First United Methodist Church, St. Vincent de Paul, Rose Hill, the Free Clinic for Adults and the Salvation Army.

“We’re here to help the community. We try to give back to the community,” Mr. Gardner said. “As long as we have money, it’s how much do we want to give.”

The Amvets received a round of applause at the Elks Lodge when its donation was announced. At the same time, volunteers were manning phone lines, taking bids for a number of packages that were being offered during the auction.

On the auction block were packages such as an “Experience Boston” package, round-trip plane tickets from Massena to Boston, with two nights’ accommodations and free admission to 53 Boston attractions; the “Indulgence” package, a night in a honeymoon suite with Jacuzzi, dinner, flowers, wine basket, massage and more; a personalized wall mural painted by the artist in your home; the “Fly High” package, a one-hour plane ride for three, and Lake George Steamboat Adventure.

There was also a “Rolling on the River” package with a half-day fishing charter for one adult and one child, along with gift certificates for two sub sandwiches; a Lane furniture recliner stand; gift certificate from several establishments; family dinner and car care packages; a “Christmas in November” package featuring a gift certificate for a live Christmas tree and a decorated 2-foot Christmas tree; and much, much more.

“We ended up with over $11,000 worth of items, right up to today,” Ms. Rodriguez said.

She said she received a call Thursday from Dr. Excelsa Serabian with a dentistry package she was putting up for the auction, and a call on Wednesday from Moser’s Custom Trim with yet another auction item.

Bids on the items were gong well, according to Mr. Currier and Ms. Rodriguez.

“The morning went pretty well. It’s our first swing at this, and I’m really pleased with the success,” Mr. Currier said as bids for the afternoon auctions continued.

“It’s going really well. We had a great final tally on the morning boards. We raised $2,000 on the morning boards,” Ms. Rodriguez said.

She said she was very pleased with the community support, from those who donated to those who bid on items and those who volunteered to man the phones to take bids. Some were board members, she said, while others were members of the community who took time off from work to help.

The event not only served to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club, which hopes to open its doors in 2014, but raised awareness about the club itself.

The club will be located in the former St. Joseph’s Social Hall on Bayley Road. The board has a purchase offer on the building with St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s parish.

Its capital campaign goal is $750,000 for the purchase and renovation of the space, along with five years of operating expenses,

In the educational area, one section of the club will be dedicated to homework help and educational assistance. Staff members will be trained to develop a relationship with youths early on.

It also plans to have programs that are designed specifically for teens, such as a tech center with computers, an arts area and another area that will offer some type of physical fitness activities.

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