It has probably already happened to you. You’ve most likely been approached by a member of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club and been asked for a donation for our annual auction. If not, maybe tomorrow’s the day.

We’re getting going earlier this year – trying to make this year’s auction the biggest and best yet. It’s getting exciting because we know how the results of our benefits the community in so many ways.

First, the event itself. Last year’s auction proved to be the social event of the year for Lake Highlands. About 350 people attended, had a great dinner and a great time. In fact, it was such a hit, we had to find a new location to accommodate more people. I know you will want to come. It’s Feb. 24 at the Doubletree Hotel at Campbell Centre. We’ll have room for 400 and are looking forward to a super evening.

We’ll have a fine dinner, of course, along with a silent auction, a live auction, a performance by the Wildcat Wranglers and much more. Any member of the Exchange Club will be glad to get you tickets. Or call David Matthiesen at 424-2127. Tickets are $25 a piece. I know you’ll be glad you came.

Not only will you have a great evening, you will also have a chance to buy all sorts of neat stuff. Nearly all area merchants donate to our auction – hundreds of items. Some are useful and practical – gift certificates and household goods – while some are just plain fun – an airplane ride with pilot Mike Zoffuto and Cowboy tickets. So come on Feb. 24. You’ll be glad you did.

But, why? Why have an auction? Why go to all this effort? The auction is the Exchange Club’s only fund-raiser of the year. We raise our entire project budget in one night. Last year’s almost $30,000 profit funded all our community service projects. Surely you noticed some of them – our Teacher of the Year program honored one teacher from each of the 10 Lake Highlands elementary schools with a certificate of appreciation and a $500 check, each. Our scholarship program provided more than $25,000, some donated by a local business, to graduating seniors at Lake Highlands High School. Our Halloween Carnival at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center provided a safe alternative for hundreds of neighborhood children. Also, we provided substantial funding for the Exchange Club Center for Child Abuse Prevention, which is in our community. And, these aren’t all of our projects.

So, that’s why. That’s why we want this auction to be the biggest and best. Because the money we raise – every nickel – goes right back into the Lake Highlands community to make it a better place for all of us. And that makes this tremendous effort on the part of every one of our members well worth it.

Hope to see you there.