Johnstown Independent

Big Red Band

Auction takes cake as booster fundraiser


Bidders at the Big Red Band Cake Auction likely will find items related to Florida and the Outback Bowl, where the band will perform on New Year's Day.

The annual cake auction will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, June 13, in the town square at Bigelow Park. It's the largest fundraiser for the Band Boosters, raising $5,040 last year and $6,200 in 2012.

Band Boosters vice president Janet Howard said this year's auction is expected to be bigger and better.

She said proceeds would be used to help students cover costs associated with the trip to the Outback Bowl the week of Dec. 28 through Jan. 3 in Tampa, Fla.

"A girl I work with is baking some kind of chocolate cake, and she will include an Outback Steakhouse certificate since the band has been asked to the Outback Bowl," Howard said.

The theme of cake-auction items traditionally has been connected to the band's activities.

"The year we went to Disney, a lot of kids made cakes that looked like castles," Howard said. "You end up with nice cakes. Part of the whole surprise is the packages that are with the cakes."

Many of the baked goods come with gift certificates.

"It seems like there's always a certificate for a Columbus Blue Jackets game," Howard said. "Usually, it's hush-hush on what they're making because people don't want others to steal their ideas. We never know what items will be in it."

Last year, guests bid on 62 items, and 75 items were donated in 2012.

The top-selling auction item last year was a camping package that sold for $420. It included a round fire pit, a lawn chair, bug spray and a "death-by-chocolate" box.

The item that received the top bid in 2012 was a homemade quilt, bringing $370. Each square of the quilt was specific to the Big Red Band, such as at T-shirt from band camp.

Howard encourages everyone to check out the auction.

"I've always said we need the $20 item (as much as high dollar)," she said. "Come look at the kids' creativity. You can enjoy the fair food. Come on up and see what we've got. See what the band is about."

Howard said she estimates the cake auction has existed as a fundraiser for at least a decade.

Prior to auctioneer Mike Mooney taking bids at the cake auction, the Big Red Band will perform from 5:45 to 6 p.m., said Joe Carver, band director.

In addition to the auction fundraiser, the boosters just finished a mulch sale that generated $2,322.

"We will also have an ice cream stand at the Fireman's Festival," Howard said. "It's Velvet Ice Cream. We usually have vanilla, strawberry and Buckeye flavors."