Touting a space theme “Scouting and Beyond”, the Verdugo Hills Council set a course to celebrate the 40th annual Big Strike Auction on Saturday night at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel. The event benefits programs for more than 3,000 Boy Scouts in Burbank, Glendale and surrounding cities.
The mission of the 250 guests was to peruse the silent auction items before going into dinner and then bidding on live auction items — like a chance to visit Jay Leno’s garage and vacation stays in Mammoth and Sedona, Ariz.
The sponsorships and auctions raised more than $90,000 for the council, said Steve Smith, assistant scout executive, with proceeds going to training and professional support for Scouts and Scout volunteers and to activities such as jamborees, Rocket Academy, Cub Scout overnighters and maintenance of the Scout camps — Camp Verdugo Oaks and Camp Silver Fir.
“There was a good buzz this year,” Smith said. “People liked the auction items and the bidding was good.”
Auction co-chairs were husband and wife Al and DeAnn Nicol. This was their first time to head up the committee, although they have attended auctions in the past. Their daughter is a den mother and their son-in-law is a scoutmaster. One grandson is an Eagle Scout and three others are coming up through the ranks.
There is an existing planning committee of about 30 volunteers who have organized the fundraiser for many years, so things run smoothly, DeAnn Nicol said.
“We went out and got some donations and we’ve met some wonderful people on the committee,” she said.
Past chairs, Bob and Dorothy Black, helped coordinate the bid sheets and wrote descriptions for the live and silent auction items. Bob and Joan Nellis designed the room layout and categories for the silent auction.
Monte Harrick served as the master of ceremonies and auctioneer. Guests were welcomed by Council President Lou Schwing.
Boy Scouts distributing programs were Liam McKenna of Troop 219; brothers Sean, Daniel and Peter Rawlins, all of Troop 139; and Sako Kitsinian of Troop 201.
Others attending were Eagle Board coordinator Dan Humfreville and Joe and Sharon Terranova. Joe is a member of the Burbank Noon Kiwanis Club, which sponsors Troop 204. Coming from La Canada Flintridge for the auction were Jill Van Slooten — her husband, David, is scoutmaster of Troop 398, and Suzy Tervet, whose sons are also in that troop. Also checking out auction items were Steve Hoxsie, David Geisen and his parents, Frances and Jerry Geisen. David is chairman of Camp Silver Fir.