Youth Commission fundraiser next Saturday aims to raise $2,000

KEESEVILLE - The Keeseville Youth Commission will be holding a "Bid for the Kids Turkey Dinner" benefit on April 30, which will include a silent auction. All proceeds will go toward providing activities for local children.

"Our goal is to make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate in something," Brian M. LaFountain, a Chesterfield representative on the Keeseville Youth Commission, said. "We don't have the resources other municipalities have. We don't have places youth can go and hang out."

He said there was a danger in not providing children with healthy alternatives.

"If we don't, that's where we start to see teenagers gather on the street," LaFountain said. "That's where we start to see graffiti and destruction."

LaFountain said the silent auction was inspired by a similar event recently held by the AuSable Valley Jazz band that was highly successful.

"It seems to work," he said. "It makes for a really good turnout; it's going to give people something fun to do."

Donated items to be put up for auction include gift certificates from local restaurants, a cord of firewood from Timber Kings, a painting by a local artist, and an Adirondack scene cut from stainless steel, among others.

"We've had so many donations it's hard to remember which ones we had," LaFountain said.

LaFountain said he hoped to raise $2,000 from the event, which he said would be a "great start" toward meeting the goals of the Keeseville Youth Commission.

At present, the organization primarily provides athletic activities, which include baseball, basketball, soccer, skating and skiing. While already providing a reading program, the organization hopes to offer more non-sport activities, LaFountain said.

"We have a lot of community members who support local athletics, but unfortunately I don't see a lot of support for alternatives for the youth who aren't interested in sports," he said.

LaFountain said an idea for one such alternative was the creation of a kids' newsletter that could report on local happenings such as Little League baseball games.

The "Bid for the Kids Turkey Dinner" will take place on April 30 at the Knights of Columbus in Keeseville. A silent auction will begin the event at 3 p.m. A turkey dinner with all the trimmings will be served at 5 p.m. Tickets, whether bought in advance or at the door, are $8 per person. For more information, call 572-2404.

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