YUCCA VALLEY — The Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert enlisted Neil Derry, the county’s 3rd district singing supervisor, to roll out a ring-a-ding fund-raiser Nov. 6.

The annual “Bids for Kids” auction and dance brought in close to $20,000 as Basin benefactors reached into their hearts and wallets to support the children’s service.

The club was decorated for Christmas, with festive table arrangements and beautifully decorated trees. One was an “Adopt a Child” tree, where sponsors could support the children who need it the most. This tree had hand-decorated ornaments from the club’s kids, with their pictures and inspirational messages like “Be Great!” or “Be a Hero!”

Another tree was loaded with $75 ornaments, one of which was actually worth $500 to the buyer. Super shopper Merkie Pedersen won that prize, but donated back half of it to the Boys and Girls Club.

Golf goodies were popular items, and another big-hearted Pedersen, Bart, won a set of clubs from Lumpy’s. He donated them back so they could fuel another round of money raising.

The “Man Cave” was a room loaded with household repair and renovation products — even kitchen sinks — donated by local businesses. Basin artists Patti Brown, Chuck Caplinger and Martha Jacobsen donated unique artwork to the auction for those who weren’t into twisting bolts.

A hearty dinner was served by Taste of Morongo’s top award-winner, Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen of Joshua Tree, which provided chicken, creamy fettuccini alfredo and apple pies that would make your mother envious.

Throughout the evening, Neil Derry took the stage and traded his board of supervisor image for that of “the Chairman of the Board.” Derry is becoming a Basin draw for his danceable karaoke song stylings of Old Blue Eyes’ crowd-pleasing hits.

“I’m happy to do this for such a worthy cause as the Boys and Girls Club,” Derry stated. “They do a great job and they really deserve our support.”

So what is the club going to do with all that do-re-me?

“We are so thankful to every one who attended and donated so generously!” exclaimed Executive Director Kari Grimes. “This will help us continue to fund ongoing programs for the kids, as well as help with the club’s expenses,”

Cynthia Kraemer, board vice president and event chairwoman, was also pleased: “It was the best attended event in more than 10 years, with over 150 people enjoying the dancing, auction and dinner.”

Kraemer also knows how vital community support is to the success of the club. “It’s all about the kids; they are the next generation,” she said. Without the Boys and Girls Club, some of these children would have no moral compass.”

About 90 elementary, junior high and high school children are enrolled in the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program.

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