An online auction is already open and Saturday will be the 13th annual Celebrate Kids event for the Boys & Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley, but with a little twist this year.

Just like so many other events, the annual auction and celebration will be virtual. There will be a pre-show at 6:45 p.m., followed by an hour-long live event starting at 7 p.m. which will be streamed through Facebook and YouTube.

“This is all new to us and we’re excited and can’t wait,” BGCUV executive director Bryan Lake said.

Lake and Sam Lee will be hosting the online event, where they will also announce the Members of the Year and the Youth of the Year.

“We provide a safe place for kids,” Lake said. “In this chaotic world right now, we’ve tried to maintain a sense of fun. A sense of normalcy, even though it’s not normal. Kids have to wear masks, and staff have to wear masks, and we have to do the questions, we have to do temperature checks, all that chaos, but deep down we’re still the club. We love kids and we love having fun with them.”

Lake said the ceremony will include an interview with the Youth of the Year as well as some information on auction items.

“As we stream this, we will highlight some of our bigger auction packages,” Lake said. “And we will have family there to kind of just keep the energy up.”

Lake said they will also participate in the annual “mission moment,” which is when they’ll ask for donations to be made to the club to support their cause.

The auction opened Oct. 3 and will be open until 9 p.m. Saturday, an hour after the ceremony ends.

Lake said the club is hoping to raise $185,000, which they hope to reach through the auction as well as donations.

“This year we were hit very hard with COVID,” Lake said. “We can’t serve as many kids and yet I still have to have all the staff. So it’s costing us quite a bit and our revenues are down, so we’re hoping we can really pick it up with this event.”

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the club now has space for 78 children when it had 350 to 400 children a day during that same time last year.

There will be no sports members of the year this year, because many of the sports seasons were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

More information about the event can be found at bgcuv.org or you can call 541-440-9505 for more information or help registering.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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