Niles Service League to host Quarter Paddle Auction

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, November 2, 2021

NILES — A local nonprofit is gearing up for its first fundraiser since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The Niles Service League is preparing to host its Quarter Paddle Auction from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Grand LV, 104 N. Third St.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to what we do,” said NSL president Becky Brown. “We’re raising awareness for our club and raising money for kids in need.”

Numbered paddles may be purchased upon entry or ahead of time. At the event, $5 will buy a paddle that can be used when bidding on individual items. Absentee tickets are also available, and guests may purchase a paddle for $50 that will automatically bid on all items, even if they cannot attend.  Items will be offered for bids of one to four quarters.

Auction items include gift certificates, gift baskets, sweets and more. All charity items, ticket sales and food sales will go toward the organization’s Christmas Families program.

Local school districts help to connect the families with the NSL by recommending them for the program. NSL volunteers meet with seven families to talk about what they need for Christmas, right down to individual color preferences. The volunteers then purchased and wrapped gifts individualized to each of the 12 children’s wants and needs.

Families also get a basket of food to cook a Christmas dinner and new pillows, sheets and towels.

“The need is still there,” Brown said. “Last year, we could not do fundraising and had to do a sponsor letter.”

The NSL has serviced the Buchanan, Brandywine and Niles school districts since 1934, assisting area schools with identifying children with clothing and special needs. The all-women organization also assists with food and clothing drives, college scholarships and more.

While the pandemic prevented the organization from carrying out its traditional activities last year, Brown said the NSL was still able to provide 37 coats, 14 pairs of snow pants and 33 pairs of boots to children last year and $1,500 in scholarships to high school seniors, thanks to the sponsor letter.

“We typically help about 10 families per year,” Brown said.

The organization’s history of community outreach compelled Brown, who owns the Edward Jones 213 E. Main branch, to join the NSL eight years ago.

“I wanted to be part of the community,” she said. “I liked that the money raised stays local and that we’re able to see how we’re benefiting the community.”

In addition to the paddle auction, the NSL will also be hosting a food drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Martin’s Supermarket lobby. Those interested in learning more about the organization can visit nilesserviceleague.org or visit their Facebook page.