Clare County Review & Marion Press News

Big Brothers-Big Sisters Auction raises $51K

Auctioneer Norm Yoder at the BBBS Annual Auction held during the Irish Festival.
The Doherty Ballroom was full last Wednesday evening when the annual BBBS Auction was held.
Chamber of Commerce photos

By Pat Maurer


Attendees went all out at the annual Big Brothers-Big Sisters Auction Wednesday evening at the Doherty Hotel during Clare’s Irish Festival and raised just over $51,000 for the program this year. The Auction was sponsored by Mercantile Bank and held after Business After Hours.

An error led to the information on the front page of the March 17 issue of the Review, saying that only $1,200 was raised at the event, which has been a regular fundraiser during the Festival for many years. That was actually the amount that the Clare Area Chamber raised at the Business After Hours held just before the auction.

More than 60 item were donated for the live and silent auctions, BBBS Executive Director Dan Manley said. “Our appreciation to the Chamber and to Mercantile Bank for allowing us to follow the Business after Hours…” and “to the Chamber for their donation of $1,200.”

Manley described what BBBS does, saying they “create one-to-one mentoring matches with area youth and adult volunteers to help ignite the potential of our youth.”

He explained, “The funds raised are used for recruiting ‘bigs’ and ‘littles’ as well as creating, supporting and coaching those matches throughout the year.”

He said the average annual cost for each “match” is $2,000, “to create and support that match.”

Manley continued, “One of the things we do is a ‘multi-layered background check’,” adding that, “These background checks are performed annually on all volunteers and staff members at an average cost of $100 per person. Funds are also used … to host match events where our matches can get together. Sometimes we take the matches to … a sporting event as a special outing.”

Manley said in December they took the “matches” to Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm for the day, and that past “match events” have included Central Michigan University football games and Great Lakes Loons games.

He said BBBS Board Member Liz Bouchey organized this year’s and last year’s event with the help or her committee: Board Member Ann Doherty, Shari Buccilli of Bucilli’s Pizza, Amy Shindorf of Four Leaf Brewing, Community Member Paule Clark and Mid Michigan College Intern Madison Reinking.

He expressed BBBS’s appreciation to the Doherty and Auctioneer Norm Yoder and said, “”We really want to thank the entire Clare community for coming out and supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters!  We would not be able to begin to make a difference in the lives of our area youth without you, the Clare community.  I am always humbled by the generosity of this community.  The money raised helps keep Big Brothers Big Sisters in our mission to offer that one to one mentoring opportunity to any area youth who would like to be a part.  The financial support is so very important, but what we also need are volunteers to be that mentor, that “big”.  We have over 50 kids on our waiting list just waiting for that mentor.  The one question I get asked is how much time does it take?  We only ask for 4 hours a month.  That is all.  Those 4 hours you could spend a month with an area youth could be the difference in that childs life that inspires them to achieve greater things than they have ever imagined.  You could be the spark that ignites the flame of potential in a child.  To find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters you can go to our website: or call us at 989-386-9304.”

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