August 16, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...

Ocracoke bachelors go on the auction block for a good cause

By CONNIE LEINBACH

Women of all ages got to be rowdy during the second annual Bachelor Auction on Aug. 8 to benefit Ocracoke’s community radio station, WOVV 90.1 FM.

More than 50 women vied during the three-hour event for the chance to go on dates with 19 men.

Jenny Scarborough, event organizer, had said before the action began that the organizers had 17 guys when they had been hoping for 12. By the end of the evening, however, 19 had showed up to be put on the auction block.

More than $5,700 was raised from admissions and bids, she said, which was higher than last year’s take of $3,500.

Clearly, this is an event that is gathering momentum.

“We’re very excited for the success of the auction and thank all the women who participated,” Scarborough said.

The island’s only radio station, WOVV flipped its switch full-time June 15 last year, noted station manager Clayton Gaskill, and in June of this year, the station went online at www.wovv.org.

“These fundraisers help out a lot,” he said, about the nonprofit station that relies on sponsors, donations, and grants to remain on air.

Earlier in the summer, the station hosted a women’s arm wrestling fundraiser.  “We hope to do a 5K run in the spring,” Gaskill said.

He also hopes to get more young people involved in the all-volunteer radio station.

Hence, this fun type of activity.

Katy Mitchell, island songstress and auctioneer for the evening, was costumed as a nymph from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and was the perfect personality for egging the crowd to higher bids -- as is evident in her commentary on one of the bachelors, Scott Gray.

“Sunset mimosas!” Mitchell cooed into the microphone.  “I know you want it, ladies! I’m trying to keep it in check,” she continued as Gray took off his shirt to wild hoots from the crowd. 

“C’mon ladies, he’s been to culinary school!” she proclaimed.

Mitchell herself ended up “purchasing” Gray.

Dates with the bachelors tended toward how they were employed, such as activities from the guys who work at Ride the Wind Surf Shop.

Rich Corbin, who teaches paddle boarding at the Surf Shop, dressed for the occasion in a seersucker suit with hat and tie.

Jimmy Young, who guides kayak tours for the shop, and was one of the first to be auctioned, dressed up his shorts with a white long-sleeved shirt with a vest and tie, which he discarded while on the “auction block.”

He was sanguine about the event and was happy to participate.

“I didn’t do it last year, but we heard all the yelling,” he said. “It’s for a good cause.” 

Young’s date was kayaking and dinner.

“This beautiful man sold for $270!” Mitchell exclaimed.

Clamming, or whatever you want, was the date with Kenny Ballance, the local chief NPS ranger, who got drafted for the auction block when he arrived. He underwent a bidding war before it ended at $300, purchased by Jennifer and Bill Rich.

“I just hope that’s not higher than my nephew,” Ballance said about his “price.”

It wasn’t. Eric O’Neal, Ballance’s nephew, sold for $340.

Hank Delacotta called for 20 women to pay $10 each for an evening cruise on his party boat, and instantly, 20 women leapt on stage.

A ride on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research boat, with Chris Fosdick, one of the crew, was purchased by Daphne Bennink.

As the night wore on and the audience soaked up refreshments, the final bids got higher, with a winning bid of $430 for Austin Lucas, a manager at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar.

“Four hundred thirty dollars for ‘the boy next door,’ ” Mitchell crowed to the crowd. “I wish he was the boy next to my door.”

The final bachelor of the evening, Daniel O’Neal, got the honor of highest price at $560.

Last year, the highest bid for a bachelor was $410.

Scarborough and others on the board, Robert Rayborn, founder of the station, and Greg Honeycutt, president, are evaluating the event for next year’s edition.

“It’s always fun thinking about who to ask to participate,” Scarborough said.
 


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