Feb. 12, 2020 — On Feb. 8, the community experienced the tropical breeze of “The Spirit of Aloha” at Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC) of Western Lane County’s Fraudville, held at the Florence Events Center.
“Aloha. It means everybody’s welcome, everybody’s loved, everybody’s accepted,” said auctioneer Tyson Baker. “That’s what happens when kids step inside the Boys and Girls Club. When you step inside, you are at your second home. You are with your family. You are safe. You can see that every one of those kids feel those things.”
Part of that spirit was evident as the event’s totals were tallied, surpassing BGC’s goal of $50,000 to reach $79,930.
According to BGC Executive Director Chuck Trent, “Fraudville funds our teen and after-school programs. All the funds that are being raised tonight are going directly to the kids in Florence. … We’re here to make sure that all kids have opportunities for a great future.”
Fraudville is an annual lip-sync competition that allows community members, nonprofit organizations and businesses to dress up, perform and show a little silliness all in the spirit of giving. It is BGC’s main fundraiser each year.
This year’s event featured island décor, catering by The Hukilau, a custom-built tiki bar, shaved ice and games. In one, attendees could pay to maroon other guests on Castaway Island until another guest paid their way to freedom. Notable attendees such as Florence Mayor Joe Henry, his wife Pam and BGC Board Secretary Nancy Pearson were often designated to the island.
Brothers Tyson and Tommy Baker from Baker Auction, based in Ontario, Ore., were the auctioneers for the event.
“This evening is a great treat, but let’s not forget what we’re here for. We’re here for the Boys and Girls Club in Florence,” said Tommy at the beginning of the event. “We’re here to make sure these kids can be supported, have a good time and feel safe.”
The Bakers have been attending Fraudville and BGC’s other events for the past four years, building relationships with the club and local donors.
“I am so impressed each time I come to this community,” Tyson said. “It blows me away what this community has done. We feel honored to be among some of the most genuine, caring people in the State of Oregon.”
This year featured four groups in the lip-sync competition, which was judged by a panel of community members.
When she introduced the judges, Pearson said, “You do so much for the community, and we have an amazing community. Thank you so much for all of your volunteer hours.”
The first competitor was made up of BGC students calling themselves The Chicken Nugget Warriors. They danced a Bollywood-style number and got the audience clapping along.
The second group was 2019 winners Coastal Can-Dos, sponsored by Coastal Fitness. Three strong women came to the stage dressed as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Wonder Woman and Rosie the Riveter. They danced to a mashup of “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore and “Think (Freedom)” by Aretha Franklin.
The third group, sponsored by Florence Food Share, was first-time competitors The Tipsy Bullfrogs. They performed Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World,” complete with a giant Jeremiah the bullfrog.
The final group was Nightmare on Oak Street. Made up of teachers from Siuslaw School District, these dancers dabbed, flossed and even did the Fortnite game’s “hype dance” to songs that make up teachers’ worst nightmares: “What Does the Fox Say,” “Baby Shark” and “Let It Go.”
Siuslaw Elementary Principal Mike Harklerode, whose character eventually started dancing with the teachers, said, “If an event in any way supports our kids, I’ll be there.”
Western Lane County’s kids were definitely supported when the judges’ tallies were combined with the “Buy A Vote” audience scores. BGC was named the 2020 Fraudville Champions.
“The kids have it this year. Give it up for The Chicken Nugget Warriors!” Tommy announced. “Thank you to all the fantastic teams that performed tonight.”
Although the BGC teens left after their performance, Trent said the kids would receive the trophy this week.
Fraudville also featured live and silent auctions for items donated by the community, including the tiki bar, built and donated by Shawn Fleming Construction, and the chance for BGC teens to make a gourmet dinner for eight people.
It was after the auctions, however, that “The Spirit of Aloha” truly came out.
Trent showed a video presentation detailing the needs of the club, the activities of the club members, demographics for the Florence area and programs such as Smart Girls and Passport to Manhood that help youth grow up responsibly. Students who attend BGC learn the importance of completing their schoolwork, financial responsibility, how to do chores and how to prepare for life outside of school.
BGC’s promise is, “We show up every day to prove to every kid that they have what it takes.”
For Tyson, “Chuck’s message should be the staple in every Boys and Girls Club,” he said. “It’s not about the recognition; it’s about the fact that since we’ve been coming here, I’ve never seen an individual with a bigger heart or that cares more about these kids … because he knows what it’s like. He said to me, ‘If I can save and help one kid, I know they don’t have to go through what I went through.’”
There are 160 registered members of the Elementary Program and 60 in the Teen Center. It costs $1,200 to fund each student for the year.
After the live auction, Tyson showed how much it might cost to fund one or more students for the after school or summer programs. People then raised their bidder numbers to donate amounts from $50 to $10,000 directly to the club.
“This room is moving mountains right now,” Tyson said. “It is truly incredible what this event has turned into. You guys are amazing.”
This portion of the evening alone raised more than $46,600.
“I already know that’s a record-shattering paddle raise and live auction,” Tyson said. “The amount of kids you just helped is so impactful. We may never see the scale of it, and that’s powerful.”
For more information about Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Lane County, visit bgcwlc.org.