Minden-Lakeside Athletic Auction takes center stage Saturday

(Blake Branch/Press-Herald Photo)

Attendees need to bring an empty stomach and a full wallet.

The third-annual Minden-Lakeside Athletic Auction and fish fry will be held Saturday, July 28 at the Minden Civic Center, with proceeds benefitting athletic departments at each school.

It seems like only yesterday the first installment of this event took place in a crowded and claustrophobic reception room at Pine Hills Country Club. Even in year two the Minden Civic Center seemed overly-congested, a testament to the generosity and passion shared by citizens of Webster Parish for two wonderful schools.

The idea was born out of a conversation between former Minden Principal and current WPSB Personnel Director Robin Tucker and Lakeside Principal Denny Finley. At the time, Finley said the idea was more a dream than anything, but when Webster Parish residents unite to accomplishing something, good luck trying to stop them.

“We had a dream of an event that would be great for the two schools, the businesses in the area and the Webster Parish School Board,” Finley said. “Our goal was to benefit the schools, while promoting the businesses and the idea of shopping in Webster Parish. The auction has exceeded both of our dreams.”

Current Minden Principal Becky Wilson grabbed the baton from Tucker and hit the ground running full sprint, helping promote this year’s auction and recruiting existing and new businesses for participation. As she wraps up her first calendar year as Minden Principal with the Minden-Lakeside Auction, Wilson expressed gratitude and near disbelief at the response.

“Our community has donated some amazing prizes, gift certificates and services for this year’s auction,” Wilson said. “I’m so thankful for our community and the way they continually support the youth of Minden and Lakeside. This event is open to the public, and we hope everyone will come out and join us for a great night.”

The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. with a fish fry lasting until 7 p.m. Immediately following the fish fry, the live auction kicks off and prizes galore will be doled out to the highest bidder. Raffle items will also be up for grabs.

Among the many auction items include: A weekend fishing trip to Eagle Lake for four (cabin lodging included), two tickets to see LSU vs. Georgia football game this fall, four-ticket package for LSU vs. Louisiana Tech game, two ticket package for LSU vs. Louisiana Tech, free round for four at Trails End Golf Course in Arcadia, one-year free membership to Pine Hills Country Club in Minden, mobile deer blind, two New Orleans Saints party packages, zoom whitening treatment from Horseshoe Dental, variety of Yeti, K2 and Pelican performance coolers, and much more.

In its first two tries, the auction has raised a total of $77,750.68, with Minden receiving $46,650.40 and Lakeside receiving $31,100.28.

The planning and execution of this auction is a full-year in the making between the two schools, including Minden athletic director Dean Francis and Lakeside athletic director Gary Cooper, who will oversee the dispersal of funds raised Saturday evening.

With continued support from the community this Saturday, Finley is hoping for even higher totals for 2018.

“Everyone from both schools has enjoyed the process of putting this together and collaborating with our community,” he said. “Together, we’ve formed new ideas that will make this the best auction of the three.”

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