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Community support drives M-Club banquet

Dave Pirsig, owner of Scales and Tales sports, poses with William Kelley Principal Joe Nicklay and the gun Nicklay won in the M-Club raffle. Pirsig donated the firearm.

Ken Vogel

The Silver Bay Mariners Club held its annual banquet on April 5. The event, in its ninth year, is held as a fundraiser for the William Kelley School athletic program.

Reunion Hall was lined with tables displaying a wide range of items donated by local merchants and businesses and Feron Meeks of Julie’s Variety & Hardware put his sportscasting experience to work emceeing the live and silent auctions and raffle drawings. Winners from more than 200 attendees walked away with sports memorabilia from professional athletes, gift cards, art work, vacation stays, sporting goods and many other items. Meeks said he looks forward to the banquet every year.

“It’s a great event, I am happy to volunteer my time because it’s for the kids.” he told the Lake County News-Chronicle. “This is a great way to have some fun and to keep our high school sports going. I would like to thank the community for supporting the kids; this is what makes our extracurricular events possible.”

M-Club board member Roger Koster said he was happy with the community’s support and what it will mean for local athletics.

“The banquet was a success. We still have a few bills to pay but we will make a profit of $14-15,000, which is fantastic for the club,” he said, adding that the money will be used to help cover the cost of equipment, jerseys and transportation for the high school’s many sports teams. Proceeds from previous banquets have been used to purchase numerous other sports-related wish-list items.

“Last year the M-Club donated $5,000 for the new sound system in the arena, $1,000 for a new sound system in the gym and another $4,000 for a new equipment trailer,” Koster said.

Among the many local business owners who provided raffle items for the event were Dave and Krysty Pirsig of Scales and Tales Sports. The couple donated two highly sought-after firearms (and federal firearms license paperwork) for the drawings and say they were pleased to do so.

“It was a privilege to be involved with the M-Club banquet this year and we hope to provide this service to the fundraiser every year,” Dave Persig said.

WKS Principal Joe Nicklay attended the banquet and weighed in on the event’s success, and his own. He bought the winning ticket for one of the coveted guns donated by the Persig’s.

“The 2014 M-Club banquet was a big success,” he said. “In my six years here, I am always impressed by the amount of support we receive from our community. People are so willing to step up and help plan, sponsor and support the efforts of the staff and students at William Kelley. I am very fortunate to be a part of such a compassionate and enthusiastic community.”

As for his lucky number Nicklay said: “I was surprised! I seldom am lucky enough to win anything when I enter raffles.”