Gather ’round to hear this tale of a fabulous charity auction, a celebration of wealth, beauty and celebrity, a gathering of spirits in a setting so grand and dazzling as to bring tears to your eyes. Was it even real?
The chandeliered ballroom all aswirl with the gowned and tuxedo-ed looked a lot like people in denim and sneakers in a small-town tavern in America where the beer is cold and the broasted chicken is glorious, jammed from front door to back with folks who weren’t there to see or be seen but heard and acknowledged by a savvy auctioneer and thus to support the only celebrity who mattered here.
That luminary would be Scott Geist. The tavern here is Bob’s, right there on the main drag through Shelton, Wash. The heroes of this piece are many, but start with organizers Cheral Manke and Matt Manke (Scotty’s best friend for life) and Bob Albaugh, the main man with the microphone; Tad and Sandy Smith, the owners, and all the staff at Bob’s; and every merchant and artisan who donated to the auction and every soul who bid or bought in an effort to raise money against the insane uncovered costs Scott faces during his recovery from treatment for leukemia.
Last I heard, the auction raised $37,000 for the cause. That’s a real number. It’s enough to make you believe the Geist family – Scotty, parents Bob and Marsha, sister Steph and brother-in-law Jeff – carries some weight in the Mason County realm and well beyond. That’s really, after it all, why this day came to be.
I bought something – a sturdy metal cooler loaded with hard cider, a couple (at the time) bottles of Jaegermeister, pint glasses and other accoutrements, and a couple T-shirts. I didn’t need any of it, and I paid too much, on an ordinary day. This wasn’t. And there’s this: The cooler will go right back on the table for the live auction at Golf for Scotty G, the benefit tournament April 28 at Capitol City Golf Club (2 p.m. shotgun start; $110 suggested donation gets you 18 holes, range balls, power cart and a souvenir golf ball).
Scott has his second stem cell transplant April 12. I can’t make him feel better, now or later, and I can’t will his test scores to sit down where “normal” lives. But I sure can go play golf, and if you want to, too, get in touch. I’m not hard to find.