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The BBBS 2018 Great BIG Auction breaks Records during "A Night in Paradise" Fundraiser!

This past weekend Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit hosted its 2nd annual Great BIG Auction at the MotorCity Casino Sound Board Theater. Shattering last year’s record, nearly 300 people attended the new-style charity event that was hosted by Fox 2 News’ Maurielle Lue, Detroit News Columnist Chuck “Style Guru” Bennett and chaired by Rick Hampson, president of Citizens Bank of Michigan.

The Great Big Auction- “A Night in Paradise” featured a chance to bid on once-in- a-lifetime, experiential live auction packages created by the Class of 2018 Great Big Auction Warriors. This year’s Warrior class included:

Event Chairman: Rick Hampson- Citizens Bank

Host & Warrior: Chuck Bennett- Detroit News Columnist

Hostess: Maurielle Lue- Fox 2 Detroit News

Angye Ennis- Ennis Entertainment Media

Armond Rashad Harris- Jabs Gym

Chris Pence- CR6 Business Solutions

Chef Bobby (Robert) Nahra- Fox 2 Detroit

Dewey Steffen- Great Lakes Wealth

Garyn O. Davis- GM Financial

Grace Keros- American Coney Island

Jeannine Gant- BBBSMD

Laith Hanna- Motor City Petroleum

Ngum Suh- NLS Consultants

Rob Sims- OBDIOS Group LLC, Former Detroit Lions Player

Surprise Warrior- HOUR Media

William “Bill” Avery- UBS

These movers and shakers of Southeast Michigan each possess a strong connection to

BBBS CEO Jeannine Gant pictured with GBA Warriors Chef Bobby and Ngum Suh.

philanthropy, youth development and civic engagement. This year’s class created live auction packages with assistance from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit value ranging between $2,500 - $10,000. Packages included private movie screening rentals and detroit sports tickets in “The District Detroit Sports & Entertainment” package presented by Rick Hampson and Paul Glantz, founder & chairman of Emagine Entertainment. Another high-bidding package included the “Ultimate Locker Room Celebrity Experience” (presented by former Detroit Lions Rob Sims) featuring an exclusive dinner, 18 holes, Michigan State Football press box experience with celebrity guest Calvin “Megatron” Johnson (former Detroit Lions WR) and Jason Strayhorn (Football Analyst). A once in a lifetime package item included a personal ride on the Zamboni during a Detroit Red Wings home game (presented by Dewey Steffen, CEO & Chief Investor of Great Lakes Wealth).

New elements and great surprises filled the evening including a live performance from

Recording artist BETH performs during the "Day at Sea" package introduction.

local recording artist Beth during the presentation of a “Day at Sea” yacht ride with food, cocktails and live entertainment (presented by Angye Ennis, Ennis Entertainment). BBBS incorporated a new style of pop-up bingo referred to as MATCH led by the comical BET "Comic View" comedienne, Coco. Guest filled their “MATCH” boards with seashells and pebbles from their table’s treasure box centerpieces, after Coco mentioned a “match activity” Bigs and Littles partake in, during her comedy sketch.

Guest enjoy the VIP Reception at the Great BIG Auction

Over 50 guest left as winners receiving prizes from the silent auction (including 1 night hotel stays, concert tickets, wine etc.), live auction, pop-up “MATCH” bingo sponsored by Ally Financial and Hidden Treasure moments sponsored by Wells Fargo, Citizens and Terry McElroy. The evening concluded with the crowning of the top 3 GBA Warrior Fundraisers. First place was presented to Chef Bobby Nahra & Chuck Bennett’s “Top 12 Dining Experiences,” second place was awarded to Dewey Steffen “Doing it Up in the D, With Friends in the D,” tied in third place was Chris Pence “The Harbor Bay with Sara Bareilles” and Laith Hanna “Shop-N-See.” For a full review of the 2018 live auction packages click here. "We are so grateful to everyone who attended and supported our event,” says Jeannine Gant, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit. “We believe that mentoring plays an important role in helping at risk youth see the possibilities of a successful future. The money we raise allows us to match more children with well-trained supportive volunteers who serve as mentors."

BBBS Staff Ebony L. Walls & Chuck Bennett strike a pose.

Over $155,000 was raised to benefit BBBS mentoring efforts for kids in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. If you would like to contribute to our mentoring efforts click here.

*Event photography provided by Be Updated Photography & Videography, Dan Moen (HOUR Media) and I Got Photobooth.