Rotarians open hearts, wallets for Cheer Fund

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002

The Suffolk News-Herald &uot;Cheer Fund&uot; is heading toward its goal of $37,000, and organizations like the Rotary Club of Suffolk are boosting it along the way.

Rotary members gathered Thursday for their luncheon meeting and an auction to benefit the children who are recipients of &uot;Cheer Fund&uot; gifts.

Rotary members are usually level-headed business people from throughout the community, however, on Thursday at the Elk’s Lodge on Constance Road, they seemed to be just a bit off center.

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Prices for items like &uot;Crest White Strips&uot; and tickets to a Virginia Tech basketball game that will never be used were being snapped up at ridiculous prices. All for the good of the children.

Dr. Gerald Scheimberg, a local podiatrist, wore a Santa Claus hat, which kept flipping from side to side as he threw his hand up to make a bid. It was clear he didn’t truly realized what he was bidding for, such was his enthusiasm to send money to the Cheer Fund.

&uot;I don’t really need these white strips,&uot; said Scheimberg, a four-year member of Rotary. &uot;But I got them for a steal at $60 for the Cheer Fund.&uot;

Lydia Duke, vice president of Duke Auto, truly lost her head bidding $150 for a golf outing certificate.

&uot;I don’t even play,&uot; said Duke. &uot;But, when we have a car care clinic, I’ll give them to one of our technicians who participates in one of the half-day clinics and then he can go play golf the other half.&uot;

Truly in the spirit of giving, George Y. Birdsong paid for two tickets to the Tech basketball game that took place Thursday night.

&uot;I won’t be able to use them because I can’t go tonight,&uot; said Birdsong yesterday. &uot;But, it’s for the Cheer Fund and we’ve supported that for years. This is our annual Christmas Party where we buy things we don’t really want or need because the funds all go to the Cheer Fund. I can’t use the tickets but we’re having a good time!&uot;

The auctioneer calling the bids was John Harrell of Suffolk Iron Works. Excitedly, he spurred the bidders into action and danced across the floor with exuberance to earn those donations.

Everything was going well and all of a sudden the bidders went wild as Lynnette Brugeman of the Department of Tourism, grabbed the auctioneer’s black leather jacket. Quickly, she donned the coat and found a set of keys in a pocket, then announced that the jacket and contents were up for bid. Assisting her in this mirthful ploy for money was Bob House of Suffolk Insurance. Needless to say, the coat went quickly, just as fast as that great, fun-filled auction.

Funds for the Cheer Fund would be counted later and a check delivered. A report on the amount will appear in another edition of the News-Herald.