A feeling of celebration was in the air Friday night as hundreds of women filled the ballroom at the Valhalla Inn for the 19th annual 5 Forks Bachelors for Hope Charity Auction. Always a popular event, this year didn’t disappoint with a fresh round of 10 eligible Bachelors paired with fantastic date packages up for bidding.
Organizers are thrilled to announce that this year’s event was as successful as ever, raising $67,657, bringing the 19-year total to $1,162,543. All proceeds were directed to the Northern Cancer Fund for breast cancer research, education, diagnosis, and treatment.
5 Forks Operating Partner, Chris Bliznikas couldn’t believe the excitement and enthusiasm in the room. “This was our second year as the presenting sponsor of the event, and I was totally blown away, once again, by the incredible enthusiasm in the room. Women were having a good time, but they were also there for a cause that’s very important to them. You could feel the camaraderie and support shared. I think that’s what makes this event so special and why we’re very proud to sponsor it.”
Laurie Clarke, a long-time committee member was equally thrilled with this year’s event. “We decided to host the event on a Friday night instead of our traditional Thursday night,” said Clarke. “I know this gave women the chance to really make a night of it, enjoy the entire event and then head over to 5 Forks for the after party. We have a great time year-after-year and it’s because we know that the proceeds from the event are supporting the best equipment there is to diagnose, treat and research breast cancer. For those of us who have been through that journey, knowing that we have our community behind us, cheering us on and guaranteeing our care is second-to-none….that’s what makes all of us continue to support this event.”
While many women knew what to expect, having been at the event for multiple years, it’s the Bachelors who were truly in for a surprise. They eagerly volunteered and anxiously awaited the evening, not quite sure what to expect. Noel Parker was one of this year’s Bachelors and didn’t realize the enormity of the event until he got on stage to dance and be auctioned off. “It was a total thrill!” he said. “I wish I could do it again. I’m still amazed at our community’s generosity and it’s been an honour to participate along with my fellow Bachelors.”
Paired with each Bachelor was a tremendous date package, with prizes generously donated by the business community. With packages like ‘Dinner for a Year’ or ‘Around the World’, there was something for everyone to bid on. The Bachelors themselves also worked hard to raise funds for the evening, collecting pledges in advance of the event. In total, they raised over $12,000, with Bachelor Bill leading the way with $3,030.
Organizers are already looking forward to celebrating a milestone 20 years of the auction in 2018. Clarke joked, “We’re taking Bachelor applications already!”