I had an opportunity to attend my second Bucs Night Out event a week ago. I could have made it to three of them, as it was the week before Bucs Night Out in 2007 that I first moved to Blue Earth. But, circumstances being what they were at the time, I was busy trying to move and didn’t get to that one.
Now, I see what I missed.
Bucs Night Out puts the true meaning of the word ‘social’ when you are describing a ‘social event.’
There are a ton of people there, and they just keep coming all night long. Plus, everyone is busy visiting with each other, and generally having a pretty great time.
Although having a good time isn’t a bad thing, of course, it certainly isn’t the main reason for holding this gala.
Make no bones about it, Bucs Night Out is a fundraiser. A big fundraiser at that.
Hosted by the Blue Earth Area Schools Foundation, the social event raised over $34,000 this past week, and that was just the third highest total in the 12 years it has been held.
We are talking some pretty serious money here, folks.
The first time I was told how much this project generates for the schools, I was astounded. I guess I had a lower figure in mind, and would have been impressed had I heard it was, say, $10,000. But to learn that just three of these Bucs Night Outs have generated over $100,000, is almost amazing.
They do it with a lot of donations. Items are donated for both the live and silent auctions, then people come and buy them, adding to the donation total.
There were some items on the live auction that each went for well over $1,000 a pop. There was a shed built by the construction class at the school, a Joe Mauer autographed bat, and many other things that sold well. The top item (I think) was a collectible Hamm's Beer sign, which went for nearly $2,000.
I guess the economy isn’t as bad as we may think.
(If you are wondering, yes, I dropped a couple of bucks at Bucs Night Out. But no, I didn't get the Hamm's sign or Joe's bat.)
My favorite item on the live auction list was called “The Ultimate Man Trip.”
Put together by John McDonald, Roger Grandgenett and Jim Beattie, it is a guided trip for three men around southern Minnesota. Stops include Country Kitchen in Blue Earth for a man-sized breakfast, a trip to Schmidt’s Meat Market in Nicollet and Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm. The day would be topped off with a man-sized hunk of beef at the steak house in Bergen.
Maybe the trip could be billed as the ultimate cholesterol overload.
Another interesting item is the foreign exchange student dinner. Each year the exchange students (and this year there are nine), get together and make a meal for four couples, in one of the couple’s homes. They make the favorite food of each of their countries.
The same four couples have gotten the winning bid on the dinner for the past few years. This year they got it ‘cheap’ at only a few hundred bucks.
Sounds like a good time for the winning bidders. Just like the Bucs Night Out is fun for all who attend.
Superintendent Dale Brandsoy has some high praise for the committee which puts the whole event together. They work, he says, like a machine.
They meet a couple of times, get their job and donations lists together, then go out and get it done. When the time comes to put the event on, they know precisely what to do, and so they get it set up fast and efficiently.
Later, it’s just a matter of collecting the money and counting it.
The way they have been so successful, counting the money takes a lot longer than some of the other chores.
In the end, it is all worth it. People had a great time, and the BEA Foundation has some more funds to go out and spend on some necessary school equipment or programs that might not otherwise get funded.
Yep, it’s a proverbial win-win deal.