The Big Country Shrine Club’s Prime Rib and King Crab Dinner Auction returned in a big way Saturday, raising more than $20,000 for children in need.
More than 200 people attended the sold-out event to bid on a variety of items at a live and silent auction. The tone for the evening was set early when a group paid $700 to move to the head of the queue for the tasty buffet, prepared by James Clancy and staff at the Red Rock Grill.
Shriner’s club president Glen Clancy said Tuesday they were still calculating the final total after expenses, which included $16,000 for the crab. However, he was confident they would have about $20,000 when “the smoke cleared.”
“It was a fantastic success. We had an excellent turnout and people really supported our club,” Clancy said. “I don’t think there was a case of crab left.”
Clancy thanked the volunteers, both Shriners and non-Shriners, including Donna Barnett as auctioneer, Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson as her caller and 100 Mile House Wranglers’ president Greg Aiken as bartender.
Ron Yates, the potentate of the Shriners of B.C. and the Yukon, acted as MC of the night and said it was “awesome” to see so many people attend the event – the first major Shriner event in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.
“The people are happy, you can really feel it, and that is what’s important really,” he said.
Yates reminded the attendees that the Shriners use their donations to support youth in need of medical assistance. This includes paying for life-altering medical procedures for young people, like Jane Childerhose.
Childerhose, 15, travelled to the South Cariboo from the Lower Mainland to share how her life has changed since having surgery to correct her spinal scoliosis. She said she was grateful to the Shriners, who paid for both the procedure and her accommodation.
“Scoliosis is the curvature of your spine and mine was already pretty severe and kept getting worse, surgery is really the only option to stop it from progressing. My spine was curving like an S shape and kept pushing on my ribcage and my lungs,” she said.
The surgery itself was painful, Childerhose said, and it was bizarre waking up two inches taller.
The Big Country Shriners also used the auction as a chance to present a piece of art, drawn by graphite artist Bryan Austerberry, to Yates. The piece, Philanthropy, was originally commissioned by Sue Brown after her husband Tony and his friend Frank Dobbs – the treasurer and vice president of the Shriners respectively – died on the same day.
The piece commemorates all the Shriners who have passed away.
“The drawing represents the work Shriner’s do with children,” Austerberry said. “I titled it Philanthropy because that’s what they do and that’s who the Shriners are.”
Yates said he was floored by the art and humbled that they presented it to “an average Joe Blow guy” like him.
“It’s beautiful. I love getting presented with art and I’m proud it came from 100 Mile House.”