Date auction to benefit local charityWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Steve Reamey aka Gay Steve of Star 105 drew the highest bid during the first Annual Toledo’s Most Eligible Bachelor & Bachelorette Date Auction to benefit Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts last year.
“To beat out the UT football players is always good for the ego,” Reamey said.
This year, however, he’s the show’s emcee and he has a very specific goal — to double the amount raised for the charity.
The event is the creation of Kele Pallitta, founder of Comforting Hearts. Kele and her husband Frankie lost their 7-month-old Elias to cancer in 2008. In November 2011, the couple decided they wanted to bring comfort to other families whose children had cancer and started their charity, which sends care packages to the families. Comforting Hearts has supplied about 200 families with care packages, Kele said.
“[The families] go to a doctor’s appointment and [if doctors] find something, they literally are told, ‘Your kid has cancer,’ and they’re committed directly in. So to them it’s huge, knowing someone’s thinking of them,” Kele said.
Last year’s date auction drew about 150 people and made $4,000 for Comforting Hearts.
“It was so much fun and I think it will be an even bigger hit this year,” Kele said of the March 2 event at Irish Eyes Heavenly Pub.
The event will feature 14 bachelor and bachelorettes, a $10 buffet, a DJ, photo booth and ample parking, Reamey said.
He added that the event appeals to him because of its local flavor.
“I like to do stuff that’s local and it’s a local charity being held at a local bar; it’s a local cause. That’s what I like,” he said.
Frankie chimed in, “Every event always has local everything. Our photo booth guy literally just started up.”
The bachelors and bachelorettes include people from all over the Toledo community, Reamey said, adding that the mix of people is one of the reasons the event was successful last year. This year’s auction also includes a celebrity bachelor — Toledo Police Department Sgt. Kevin Braun, winner of the reality show “The Glass House.”
Several bachelors and bachelorettes are returning from last year because they had fun and because Comforting Hearts’ cause is important to them, Reamey said.
“They liked the charity because it was of those charities that didn’t get caught up with all the other charities that get the big financial backings,” he said.
Kele said, “They know how important it is, so that’s why they wanted to do it again this year. They see all that we’ve been doing.”
She also said the fact that the dates know each other could help raise more money.
“A lot of them know each other this year so I think it’s more who gets the most money kind of thing,” she said.
Christina Williams of 13abc is also an emcee. Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor.
The second annual Toledo’s Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette Auction will take place at 8 p.m. March 2 at the Irish Eyes Heavenly Pub, 3324 Secor Road, Toledo. Entry donations are encouraged. Large groups can reserve tables ahead of time by calling (419) 819-8065. For more information, visit http://www.comfort-hearts.com.