Tickets on sale for annual Trinity auction

REED CITY — Though there will be plenty of food and opportunities to win prizes, it's all about the children at the Trinity Lutheran Church and School's annual We Care for Kids Auction.

This year's event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, in the Holiday Inn conference center in Big Rapids. Tickets include a buffet dinner, desserts, a cash bar, raffle opportunities and the option to bid on dozens of silent and live auction items.

A silent auction kicks off the event and lasts until 6 p.m., just before dinner at 6:30 p.m. Live auctions begin at 7:30 p.m.

"We've allocated 250 tickets, and we've already sold more than half," said event co-chair Rich Saladin. "It's a fun night and a great evening."

This is the fifth year for the We Care for Kids Auction, and each year proves to attract more people. The event is a fundraiser for extra-curricular activities and technology items for Trinity students.

"I think initially the auction was popular from people wanting to support Christian education," Saladin said. "Now it's gaining popularity because people are hearing about the chance to get a great deal. It's really grown, and every year we've raised more money for the kids. Last year we broke $30,000. People are generous, they are supporting us and they find value in the event because we put together some unique packages that you can't get everywhere."

Saladin said plenty of silent and auction items are up for grabs this year, thanks to the generous donations of local, state-wide and out-of-state businesses. Larger prizes include getaway packages to Chicago, Mackinac Island and Frankenmuth, fit for couples or families, and tickets to a Red Wings home playoff game and jersey. Even smaller auction items can be attractive pieces for people with all tastes, Saladin said, including grills, kitchen appliances, gift certificates, golf packages, 50-yard line tickets for Michigan and Michigan State football games and tickets to see the Detroit Tigers and West Michigan Whitecaps.

"There's something for everyone at the auction," Saladin said. "There's lots of things to meet people's budgets and a lot of variety. If anything, the event just a nice night out. It's a good date night or for getting a group of friends together."

As another attraction, the event will offer a raffle called Champagne and Ice for the chance to win an un-set princess-cut diamond from Rogers Jewelers valued at $1,600. To play, attendees purchase one of 75 glasses of champagne for $20 and receive a raffle ticket.

"Last year that was a really big fundraiser for us," Saladin said. "It's a big deal. Last year the tickets all sold out."

One new auction item this year is the opportunity to work with brewers from The Blue Cow and Raven Brewing and BBQ and create one's own beer. The winner of the item also will get to name the brew and have a tap and taste party at the restaurant.

Saladin believes the event will be fun and positive for all who attend and is still taking donations from individuals or businesses who wish to contribute.

Tickets are on sale through Monday, Feb. 29 and can be purchased by calling Trinity Lutheran Church and School at (231) 832-5186 or Rich Saladin at (231) 912-6879. For more information, visit