Charitable citizens contributed $114,000 to United Way Grays Harbor at the 19th annual Black and White Gala held Saturday at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino.
The event was “sold out, plus six,” said executive director Kelley McDonald at the beginning of the evening. The doors opened at 6 p.m., when the silent and “almost live” auctions began. The silent auction had 15 items donated by locals, including a bucket of beer courtesy of Julie Feller and Bi-Mart and a one night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge.
The “almost live” auction featured 14 high end items that could have been part of the live auction, but there wasn’t enough time in the evening to have more than 15 live auction items. The almost-live auction items included tickets to Disneyland courtesy of Disneyland Resort and a two-night stay at the Aquarius Casino in Laughlin, Nev.
The gala was emceed by Johnny Manson, weekday morning DJ at 105.7-FM, The Jet. The Golden Ticket drawing – a $40 ticket that gets you in the drawing to select any live auction item before the auction begins – was won by Marty Juergens. He selected the ultimate pro sports fan getaway, which included air fare, hotel and two tickets to any regular season professional sports game in the country.
McDonald related the types of programs the United Way provides by telling two true stories. One was a lifelong resident of the area who had fallen into an abusive relationship and became an addict. She is now a student and clean. The second was a man from Georgia with young children whose wife had fallen into drugs and bad company. He packed up his kids and headed west to get them away from the wife’s increasingly bizarre behavior. He arrived on the Harbor with no job and nowhere to live. The United Way was able to provide temporary housing for the family until they landed on their feet.
There were 15 items in the live auction, conducted by morning radio show hosts Phil Luce and Logan Livingston, known on air as Luceman and Logan from KIX 95.3-FM. A collection of 13 Washington wines went for $1,000; a wood fire grill and all the trimmings from the Dennis Company and Food Services of America went for $900; two Seattle Mariners Diamond Club tickets courtesy of Comcast Spotlight went for $1,300; two tickets to the musical Hamilton in Portland, Ore., including hotel and dinner, from Alpha Media and Shiloh Inn and Suites went for $1,600; and an African “super safari,” a six-day photography safari at the Zulu Nyala Wildlife Reserve, went for $4,600. After that was won, it was announced they had another one to offer at the same price, and that was snapped up as well.
The always popular gala game, heads or tails – where ticket purchasers grab their heads or rear ends and are eliminated by a series of coin tosses – garnered the winner 250 gallons of gas, courtesy Masco Petroleum.
The Fund a Need portion of the event allowed bidders to simply donate at different levels to the United Way for different projects. One of the most popular levels for donations is the $250 level, where dozens donated. Rich Hartman’s Five Star Dealerships matched the donations at the $250, and also the $50 level.
Five Star is one of the founders of the Black and White Gala, along with Jodesha Broadcasting, event sponsors.