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Central Panther Club Auction set for Oct. 27

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- You've no doubt felt it while watching from the sidelines and stands at Central High School -- that urge to give your team a helping hand when the athletes need it most.

September 25, 2012

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- You've no doubt felt it while watching from the sidelines and stands at Central High School -- that urge to give your team a helping hand when the athletes need it most.

You'll be able to on Oct. 27.

That's when the 32nd annual Central Panther Club Auction will take place at Central High. Proceeds from the event will be used to help support local high school sports.

"This is our major fundraising event of the year," said Kenny Moore, a club spokesman. "We feel that school athletics are very important because students who are actively involved in a sport are more likely to do better in school."

The event will start at 5 p.m. in the old gymnasium at the high school. The live auction will happen at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria.

The club raised $35,000 last year, and between $30,000 and $40,000 has been the usual goal. Page McBeth, a Panther club member, said the group is trying to "step it up."

"We've formulated a plan to get parents more involved and establish a much larger club membership and broader base of activities," McBeth said. "We know we have to raise money, but we don't know how much the school will need ... we'll just raise as much as we can."

In the past, money has gone to public address systems, warm ups and scoreboards. The last few years, however, have seen booster club dollars put into sporting basics, such as stipends just to keep coaches for junior varsity and freshman sports.

Those programs would likely cease without the Panther Club, said Shane Hedrick, Central High athletic director.

His budget is perhaps $130,000 -- less than half of what it was four years ago.

Personnel costs to operate and coach athletics at the high school is more than $150,000; contributions have been covering the difference, Hedrick said.

"Without those positions, we would be sunk," he said. "If you cut (sub-varsity high school) sports programs, those kids won't come back to play.

"Those are feeder programs," he continued. "You have no way to have a competitive program if you're only offering varsity sports."

Beyond that, "if you don't have sports, kids will just find something else to do ... not all of it good," Hedrick said.

What: The 32nd annual Central Panther Club Auction.

When: Oct. 27.

Where: Central High School old gymnasium inside the school and the cafeteria, 1530 Monmouth Ave., Independence.

Tickets: $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased at any Central High sporting event, Les Schwab Tires in Independence, from any Panther Club member and at the door on Oct. 27.

Of note: The event will start at 5 p.m. with a silent auction and dinner in the old gym. The menu includes gourmet pizza, salads, breadsticks, fruit and vegetables.

The live auction will begin at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Dessert will also be served.

Auction items include: Willamette Valley Vineyards tour and tasting for 10; Haugen's Galleri portrait studio session for seniors; $500 gift certificate for Yenne & Schofield Orthodontics in Dallas, West Salem and other offices; and an evening at the Green Villa Barn & Gardens. Food, gift certificates, professional services and vacation home/condo getaways will also be auctioned off.

For more information or to donate an auction item: Kristi at 503-910-3012 or Ragan at 503-838-5918.

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