Port Orchard lounge sells singles to fight cancer

Kelly Maves sits on Ken Desmarets
Kelly Maves sits on Ken Desmarets' lap, in order to drive up his bid during Wednesday night's Singles Auction cancer fundraiser.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo

What started slowly and with a potentially disappointing turnout transformed into a raucous, joyous event that raised over $3,500 to support cancer research.

The event, the third annual Singles Auction and Dinner Date for American Cancer Society took place at the 110 Lounge in Port Orchard on Wednesday night.

“As we get older we deal with a lot of physical issues,” said Don Ryan, who runs the lounge along with his girlfriend, Kim Cherry. “And there is no one here who has not had someone close to them who has been touched by cancer.”

This included both Cherry—whose father died of the disease in 2006—and Ryan, whose mother is now under cancer treatment.

Ryan said that the proceeds met their goal, even if it was considerably less than the $6,500 raised last year.

“I think we did really well,” he said. “Especially with the state of the economy. Last year the place was packed. This year we only had about 30 people, but we did as well as we expected.”

The auction, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., was delayed about 90 minutes as guests trickled in. When it commenced, auctioneers Jeff Stokes and Paul Schenfeld double-teamed the audience into a frenzy, causing the bids to rise and the money to pour in.

For instance, one attendee arrived with the intention of spending about $200 for the cause, but was driven up in a bidding battle to $490. Furthermore, Stokes and Schenfeld played the bidders against each other and asked the bachelorette in question to consent to two separate dates. With that, she ended up raising just under $1,000 for the cause.

Earlier, Wave Broadband sales representative Billi Guernsey bid for a date with Big Al Brewing employee Ken Desmarets. When Guernsey went on the block Stokes pushed Desmarets to bid higher, by getting Kitsap Bank’s Kelly Maves to sit on Desmarets’ lap until the combined total of the Guernsey/Desmarets dates reached nearly $500.

Even so, the cancer preparedness message didn't entirely sink in, as several attendees and participants snuck outside for a cigarette throughout the evening.

“This is not about dates and its not about prizes,” Ryan said, following a theme echoed throughout the evening. “This is about having fun and raising money for the cause.”

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