Oh What a Night in New Glasgow
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County planning handbag auction
Over the past 19 years, Pictou County’s Big Brothers Big Sisters have raised over $100,000 for its programs through an annual dinner theatre and auction.
This year’s event will be held Nov. 8 at Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow and will feature the musical show Oh What a Night, based on music from 1977, including rock, disco and funk. There are three acts, a full meal catered by Summer Street Industries and a handbag auction.
“In the beginning,” says Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director of Big Brother Big Sisters of Pictou County, “we approached Grafton Street Dinner Theatre in Halifax to see if they would perform off-site, and they agreed.”
The two organizations have been teaming up ever since.
When the event first started, the dinner theatre was combined with an art auction. It was starting to lose steam, says Grant Walsh, so she decided it was time to switch things up. Since the majority of people who attended were female and handbags were popular, it was decided to offer the accessory up for auction instead.
When the handbag auction began four years ago, Grant-Walsh says all bags were new, but she quickly discovered many people wanted to donate gently used ones, too.
“So the second year, we opened it up to gently used bags as well,” she says.
These bags bring in anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 each year, and organizers hope this year will be no different.
Funds raised through the handbag auction and ticket sales will go toward in-school mentoring programs. Currently, the program is in 19 schools and involves one-on-one matches, peer mentoring matches and group programming. According to the program’s website, the inschool mentoring program provides youth with a role model and a friend to talk to and share the experiences of growing up within school grounds. For one hour a week, mentors meet with their mentee and engage in activities such as board games, crafts or just hang out on school grounds.
“This funding is critical, as we only receive five per cent from government funding and the rest comes from various fundraisers and this is one of those fundraisers that does not take as many resources,” explains Grant-Walsh.
Being in a rural community, it is sometimes difficult to find something fun to do as a couple or group of friends and colleagues, says Grant-Walsh. She hopes the knowledge that attending the event will support a cause where the money will remain in the community will help draw people to the fun event.
If you go
Tickets for Oh What a Night dinner theatre and handbag auction on Nov. 8 are $57.50 per person and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone wishing to donate a new or gently used handbag for the auction can do so up until Nov. 5.
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