These two groups have been at odds for a long time now, but both sides are coming together for the greater good.
No, not Democrats and Republicans. Minden and Lakeside.
Minden High School and Lakeside High School will co-host the first Minden/Lakeside Athletic Auction Saturday, Aug. 6, at Pine Hills Country Club. The event begins with a fish fry at 5 p.m., leading up to the auction at 7 p.m., with all proceeds from the event benefiting the Minden and Lakeside athletic programs.
Minden High Principal Robin Tucker and Lakeside Principal Denny Finley came together to organize the auction. Now one week from seeing there idea come to life, they hope both the Minden and Sibley community will come out and show their support.
“We talked quite a bit last year about how we thought it would be a good idea,” Tucker said. “We want to be good stewards of the resources in our community, because we know economically our local businesses get hit-up quite a bit. By joining together, we thought we could get everybody excited at both schools. Starting the school year off with the auction will be a great way to get everyone excited for the upcoming school year.”
Tucker said the interaction and coordination between the two schools hasn’t been an issue.
“It’s really been great,” Tucker said. “Our coaches are working well together. We’ve had meetings to coordinate our efforts and make sure we don’t hit-up the same businesses over and over again. Both communities have things to bring to the table; we both have different types of supporters at our two schools and by combining I think it puts out a really united front.”
The local business community is on board, offering more than 80 auction items. Items include a one-year membership to Pine Hills Country Club, a free class at Lucky Brake Driving Academy, a weekend hunting trip provided by John Madden, outdoor patio glider, hotel stay at Grace Estate and two mounted and framed Minden Jerseys complete with a ‘Domus Victorum’ print commemorating The Pit. Representative Gene Reynolds has provided LSU football tickets and Mark Chreene of KASO radio has offered Texas Rangers tickets. A number of firearms, from pistols to shotguns and rifles alike, will be up for auction as well. To see more of the available items, visit the Minden Lakeside Facebook page.
Tucker said themed raffle tables will be up for grabs. Themes include LSU, Louisiana Tech and outdoor sports, to name a few.
“Whoever draws the winning number will win the entire table,” Tucker said. “I can’t even articulate adequately enough the amount of support we’ve had in getting raffle and auction items. There’s things for ladies, men, hunters, golfers; there’s going to be something for everybody.”
Tucker also said entertainment options will be on hand for children, such as a bounce house and face painting, done by the Minden and Lakeside varsity cheerleaders, so parents can come out and have fun without the worry of having to find a babysitter.
“It’s going to be a great experience,” Finley said. “Me and Robin have worked hard to bring the two sides together, and I think it’s going to be a home run for our business in the long term. We look forward to having everyone together in one building, all for the same cause.”
The auction is gaining traction on social media and through word of mouth, and it’s no guarantee that Pine Hills will be a large enough venue to host the event should it grow in the years to come.
“We expect this to grow every year,” Finley said. “The more people we can get in the building, the better. I think it will get easier to organize every year as it becomes a regular event.”
Finley even hinted at the creation of an auction board who would work on the event year round and the addition of a keynote speaker.
Tickets for the fish fry are being sold by Minden and Lakeside football players for $10 and plates can be picked up and taken to go.
The night will close with some entertainment from an all-star band made up of coaches from Minden and Lakeside.
“It’s just a fun way to finish the evening,” Tucker said. “It’s going to be a special performance.”