A milestone year was celebrated on Friday night at the Valhalla Inn as the Bachelors for Hope Charity Auction marked twenty years of raising funds for the Northern Cancer Fund for breast cancer research, education, diagnosis and treatment. This year’s event sold out quickly and raised $84,637.48, bringing the twenty-year total to $1,247,180.48!!
Ten Bachelors were recruited early in 2018 to celebrate this special year, and they proved up to the task, entertaining women with an incredible dance routine and then showcasing their charm as they were auctioned off in partnership with date packages that were the envy of many in the room. With everything from sailing, to gourmet dining, to makeup lessons, cooking classes and vacations, including flights, women were clamoring to make their bids and be winners.
Not only were the Bachelors the stars of the evening, but they worked hard in advance of the event to raise pledges for the Northern Cancer Fund. Altogether the Bachelors raised $23,290, with Bachelor Domenic Pedulla raising the most with $4,100. Bachelor Brad Bruce explained, “As soon as you get the call that you’re going to become a Bachelor, you sort of wonder what you’ve got yourself into. Then you meet nine other unbelievable guys, you form a bond and you know you’ve made the right decision to be a part of something special. Each of us have our own personal reasons for wanting to be a part of this event, but ultimately we all wanted it to raise lots of money for breast cancer care here locally. Being a part of this event on its 20th anniversary was an experience I’ll never forget. Knowing that we played a role in bringing hope to women who are experiencing this disease is something I’ve very proud of.”
Organizers planned a few extras to go along with the traditional date packages that were auctioned off with each Bachelor to mark the 20th anniversary and build excitement throughout the evening. A popular phrase ‘Sparkle Time’ which is well known to past attendees, meant the start of the ‘Bling Blitz’ where attendees purchased a box for $20 not knowing what was inside, with one lucky lady winning a stunning diamond necklace valued at $3,000, generously sponsored by Vince Mirabelli of Remax First Choice Realty. Ladies also had the opportunity to bid on a Bachelorless Package that included golf, comedy, massages and dining. Plus several lucky tables bid to have champagne, plus either chocolates, chocolate dipped strawberries or roses delivered to their table as an added treat.
Laurie Clarke, a long-time committee member was delighted to celebrate this milestone year. “I’m not sure there are words to describe just how much this event means to women,” she said. “No matter who you are, what you do, what you believe in, when you walk into that room, and feel the powerful energy of a group of women who want to celebrate and lift each other up in the face of breast cancer, it’s a feeling you don’t forget. I think that’s one of the reasons this event has lasted so long. It’s an evening to let loose, absolutely, but it brings women together to make sure we have everything we need here to fight breast cancer. I’m very thankful to those who took the time to celebrate with us this year by purchasing tickets to the event, and the many businesses in our community that stepped up to make this event possible – not only this year, but for the past twenty years. We live in a community filled with people with big hearts, and this event is a testament to that.”
Glenn Craig, the President & CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, echoed Laurie’s remarks, “The Bachelor Auction has been such a success for twenty years because of the countless volunteers and sponsors who make it possible. Our cancer program has benefitted tremendously from the efforts of all involved, with advancements in diagnostics and treatment that give women their best chance at surviving breast cancer. We are grateful to our community for continuing to support this event in its mission to make hope possible for the many women who will face a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.”