Oh What a Night in New Glas­gow

Big Broth­ers Big Sis­ters of Pic­tou County plan­ning hand­bag auc­tion

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY LAURA CHURCHILL DUKE

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.

Im­por­tant cause

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 big­broth­ers@eastlink.ca. Any­one wish­ing to do­nate a new or gen­tly used hand­bag for the auc­tion can do so up un­til Nov. 5.

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