Social event of season raises thousands for Niles youth

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Niles Service League's 69th Annual Charity Ball offered both a fun way to spend Valentine's Day and a great way to help our area's youth.
The ball took place on Saturday night from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Knollwood Country Club. There were approximately 200 people in attendance.
The evening kicked off with a cocktail hour and was followed with dinner, a Chinese auction and dancing.
The annual event is one of the largest fundraisers for the Service League and all of the proceeds go toward helping the children of Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan.
Last year, the Niles Service League provided more than $16,000 in monetary donations to programs serving our area's children.
Upon arrival, guests were allowed to purchase as many tickets for the auction as they wanted. The ticket prices were 20 for $25, 60 for $50 or 150 for $100.
There were approximately 75 different gift baskets available at the auction, which were made possible by the generous donations of local businesses. The value of the items available in the auction was more than $8,000.
Some of the most sought after items included a set of his and hers bicycles, a few baskets of fine jewelry and a sunset flight over the shores of Lake Michigan.
There was also a grand prize of a $500 gift certificate to the destination of your choice from TCU Travel. Tickets were $5 to enter this drawing.
The items in the auction were on display tables with a container for tickets in front of each basket.
After a dinner of chicken paillaird and broiled salmon, Donohue came out to draw the names of the winners for each prize.
She started by thanking everyone who made the donations and encouraging the guests to support the businesses that made the auction possible.
Donohue said she was very happy with the participation in the auction and said the proceeds from it alone were more than $3,000.
She said the money raised by the Niles Service League does a wide range of things to benefit local children.
Some of those activities include providing scholarships, "camperships," and participating in a school liaison program, in which they work with local schools to identify any needs that they may have.
This year that included purchasing coats, snow pants and other winter weather necessities.
The service league's next major fundraiser will be their annual charity golf outing.
In the past two years, this event has helped the service league to give more than $15,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors of Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan High Schools.
The golf outing will take place on Monday, May 17, at the Knollwood Country Club.
For more information contact the event's chairperson, Heidi Bucholz at (269) 684-7459.

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