Pick a paddle for Portage seems like a tongue twister way of describing an event, and it is. But picking a paddle at Harbor Buick GMC and NorthShore Health Center’s 4th annual Jim G. Carpenter Foundation paddle auction on April 16 is also a great way to help some truly courageous kids out at Portage High School.
The fundraising auction originally began as the idea of Harbor’s Deborah Sizemore, who says she got the spark from attending a similar auction that used its proceeds to give back to a good cause.
“I went to an auction two months before we started ours and all the funds went to a family that had lost everything in a fire,” said Sizemore. “I thought, why couldn’t Harbor do something like this to help a cause? We love helping out the community.”
So they did, with proceeds from the first auction going to a women’s shelter in Valparaiso in the first year. In the second year of the auction, though, another worthy cause that involved the community and the Harbor family came into play.
“We had an employee, Denise Carpenter (now with NorthShore) who started a foundation in memory of her father, Jim G. Carpenter,” added Sizemore. “The Foundation gives out scholarships to seniors at Portage High School who have had major medical issues in the family.”
Jake Trezak, an Intern at NorthShore and organizer of the event, said he couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with Harbor at this event and working for such a worthwhile cause and community.
"The great thing about this event is that it's geared towards giving back,” explained Trezak. “One of the things that stuck out to me during my internship with NorthShore was their belief in being a part of the community. They are always looking for ways to partner with businesses and key community members by coming together to help other people and places within the area. That's why I couldn't be more proud to say NorthShore has teamed up with Harbor Buick GMC to benefit those who make what we do so worthwhile and give back to those in need."
The auction has grown each year since its inception, and this year’s fundraiser will feature 21 vendors and items from tons of great local businesses ready to be yours for the bidding.
But even if you don’t win, you still get to walk away from Harbor with a smile from a good time and knowing you’re helping to give back to students who could use the community’s help, and a foundation that will be forever grateful you did.
"We are so excited to have our 4th Paddle Auction at Harbor Buick GMC on April 16th from 5pm-8pm this year,” said Deb Carpenter, Treasurer of the Jim G. Carpenter Foundation. “Not only do we get to auction off great items but we get to raise money for the foundation to provide scholarships to Portage High School seniors who have dealt with life altering illnesses.”
“The foundation is community centered and having key people in the community help is an integral part of us growing every year and being able to provide more resources and support to others.”
Because, just like the event itself, Sizemore adds that what makes Portage so special is the feeling of being part of a team working for each other.
“A lot goes into this auction, so it really is a team effort to do this. And, in the end, it really is a good feeling to have everyone participating to help someone.”
The quarter paddle auction will be held on April 16 at 5:00 PM at Harbor Buick GMC on U.S. Highway 6. Paddles are $5.00 for purchase day of event, and the bidding is a quarter style bid with most items costing 1-2 quarters to bid. For more information, visit the auction's official Facebook page.