Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
Salisbury Post
Her best friend’s battle with breast cancer led Sonya White to organize an auction to raise money for research.
“I’ve done the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure,” she says. “I wanted to do something that was fun and different.”
White, a nurse for Lutheran Services for the Aging, got the idea for something “fun and different” from hearing men ask what they could do to help the cause of breast cancer research.
She decided to hold the Breast Cancer Awareness Auction around Valentine’s Day, offering among other things, dinner dates with bachelors.
It took a lot of persuading, but White found 10 bachelors to go on the auction block: Rodrequiez Davis, former Marine; Ron Woodruff, videographer; Travis Smith, quality specialist; John Howard, Rowan County deputy and businessman; Kyle Baraaksma, chemist, model and bartender; Darius Hyman, bail bondsman; Matt Harwood, construction worker; Mike Morrison, manager; Dallas Bennett, photographer; and John Gribson, who is self-employed.
White says she expects to have even more bachelors by the auction, scheduled for Saturday night from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post at 1024 Lincolnton Road.
“You’ll have to attend to meet the rest,” she says.
Bids will start at $10. The woman with the highest bid will then draw an envelope containing a gift card/certificate for dinner for two at a local restaurant.
The dinner dates will be auctioned first thing Saturday evening. Auctioneer Ken Weddington is donating his services for the fundraiser.
Also scheduled for the evening are entertainment and hors d’oeuvres and a chocolate fountain created by caterer Robert Osborne.
Admission for the event is $10, all of which will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation once expenses are paid.
Other items to be auctioned include Valentine’s Day gift baskets, each of which includes at least one gift card. White says there’s a movie night basket, a lingerie and perfume basket and a wine basket.
White began in August soliciting a wide variety of donations for the auction, telling businesses she’d be by to pick them up in January. The response was overwhelming, she says.
“They’d say, ‘That’s a great idea,’ ” she says. ” ‘I never would have thought of anything like that.’ ”
Among the items donated for the auction are nine rounds of golf at local clubs; a black onyx ring, diamond watch and earring set and pearl set from Barnhardt Jewelry; a $175 gift certificate for A Step In Time Photography; $225 in merchandise from Wooden Stone Gallery; one-night stays at three local hotels; and a $75 gift certificate for Forty Six, billionaire David H. Murdock’s new restaurant in Kannapolis.
Kiera Fortner, Helen Weddington and Clifford White helped collect the gifts.
Weddington and Cindy Lyman will speak at the auction about being breast cancer survivors.
Faith Mayor Bill Johnson will serve as host, and Steve Norman will donate his photography services to record the fundraiser.
The last part of the event will be the raffle drawing for $200, $100 and $75 cash prizes.
White says she hopes the Breast Cancer Awareness Auction will become an annual event “because it’s something different.”
At 28 and single, she says she may even bid on a date with one of the bachelors.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or kchaffin@salisburypost.com.

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