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On Jan. 26, Northern High School’s Future Business Leaders of America held its much anticipated annual auction. Every year, Northern FBLA has held an auction in the month of January to benefit its chosen community service project of that year. This year’s project benefits many organizations, such as PACER and Bullying Hurts, which are currently fighting to end the nationwide bullying epidemic. This year’s auction was Northern’s FBLA’s 10th and, therefore, it decided to go big. To do so, the leaders and officers of FBLA decided to split the proceeds from the auction between both FBLA’s community service project and the Partnership with Business Project, which had never been done before. This year’s Partnership with Business project benefits the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, as well as Lucky Duck Pet Stuff in Chesapeake Beach. The combination of these two amazing causes turned out to be a smashing success.

Over many months, the project coordinators and FBLA members worked tirelessly to plan this event. Members solicited items from businesses all over the state of Maryland, acquiring almost 250 items to be auctioned off. Many of the local Calvert County businesses also contributed to this event’s success. The items ranged from vacation packages to jewelry, restaurant gift cards, signed sports memorabilia and even Amish lawn furniture. Northern FBLA also sent hundreds of letters asking for donations from various celebrities. Morgan Freeman, a widely influential actor, sent us a large signed poster from one of his movies. His donation was just one of many received from celebrities and famous athletes. The day of the auction, the officers of Northern FBLA gathered early that morning to set up the venue. By mid-afternoon, they had transformed the school cafeteria into a beautiful sight for fundraising.

Some of the honorable guests included newly elected Calvert County Board of Education Vice President Kelly McConkey, past principal of NHS and longtime supporter of Northern FBLA George Miller, Maryland State FBLA Board of Directors Chairman David Jones, as well as Del. Mark Fisher (R-Calvert). With these influential community members in attendance, a burst of success was added to the auction. Representatives from both Tri-County Animal Shelter and Bullying Hurts also came to show their support. The moving presentation from Pat Cunningham of Bullying Hurts, about a young girl who took her own life due to bullying, left many of our guests with tears in their eyes and passion for the cause in their hearts. The wonderful Kim Stephens of the Tri-County Animal Shelter also came out to show her support.

By the end of the event, Northern FBLA advisor Nancy Cohen counted up all of the total profits, which reached a staggering $12,000. All of the attendees and members of FBLA were able to go home that night knowing they helped make a difference in the lives of bullied children and shelter animals.

There were many donors who made this event possible, from businesses in Annapolis to Waldorf to the National Harbor. Northern FBLA would like to recognize those businesses and contributors who supported them from Calvert County: Abner’s Crab House, Andy Nails, Anthony’s Bar & Grill, Apex Cinemas, Applebee’s, Auto Zone, Bay Wine & Spirits, Bayfish, Bead Boutique, Big Top Kids Consignment Shop, Calvert Marine Museum, Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa, Chesapeake Grille & Deli, Chesapeake Reiki & Reflexology, Christy’s Nails, Collins Chiropractic Center, Country Plaza Liquors, Marjorie Creamer (Avon), Crystal Palace, DAWG Computers, Deale Consulting, Dickinson Jewelers, DiGiovanni’s, DLP Enterprises, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkirk Automotive, Dunkirk Hardware, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits, Edward T. Hall Aquatics Center, Embroid Me, Endless Summer Tanning, EZ Thai Restaurant, Fiesta, Kama Friedman, GameStop, Lynne Gillis, Headley Cove, Heavenly Chicken & Ribs, Marsha Higgs, Barbara Huber (Silpada), Debra Huffman, Inner Peace Massage, J&M Contracting Inc., JB & Friends Hair Designers, Jerry’s Seafood, Michael Jones, JW Jewelers, Chris Kampsen, Karen’s of Calvert Florist, Vallen and Amy King, Holly Knorr, Lighthouse Market & Signs, Diane and Paul Linkins, Jennifer Linkins, Lord Calvert Bowling Alley, Maggie Moo’s, Mamma Lucia, Marrick Homes, Dan Mavilia, MedArt Galleries, Mexico Restaurant, Mr. Tire of Dunkirk and Prince Frederick, Neptune’s Seafood Pub, Office Depot, Old Town Candy Co., Olde Bay Tavern, Outback Steakhouse, Pack N Ship, Papa John’s Pizza, Philly Flash, Pizza Oven, PNC Bank, Radio Shack, Red Octopus Tattoo, Rita’s Italian Ice, Tommy Rogers, Sakura Xpress, Saphron Restaurant, Scalped Salon & Spa, Sherry’s Dance Center, Skills Barber Shop, Rachel Smiroldo, Spirits of Calvert, Starbucks, Stoney’s, the Beeson family, the Bonavente family, the Greene Turtle, the Hartley family, the Niswander family, the Pottery Patch Inc., the Schleicher family, the Seibert family, the UPS Store, the Williams family, This and That Treasures, Amy and Scott Thompson, Thursday’s Bar & Grill, TNT Signs & Graphics, Town Square Auto Parts, Twin Beach Car Care, Unique Chic, Wawa, Delphine Williams, World Gym and Laura Young.

Gabbie Webb, Owings

The writer is a reporter for the Northern High School Future Business Leaders of America.