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Derry Area High School students bid on bachelors to aid Make-A-Wish Foundation

| Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 8:21 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Participating in the upcoming bachelor auction at Derry Area High School are (top row, from left) Izaak Fulmer Moffat, Dom Craine, Zack Hafer, Robby Hebenthal, Tyler O'Barto and Zack Zimmerman; (middle row, from left) Andrew Downey, Jarrett Dorazo, Joey Kelly, Sal Decario, Nick McNutt and Matt Vasinko; and (bottom row, from left) Ryan Rick, Connor Wege and Ethan Huston.

Derry Area High School senior Ryan Rick says his dance skills need some work, but he hopes they will help earn him a high price at the school's bachelor auction.

“I love doing it because it's something I wouldn't usually do and it's for a great cause,” Rick said.

Since 1993, the school's Interact Club has raised more than $58,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation with the event, which showcases talents of the bachelors on whom audience members bid.

Club President Sara Peterson said the group of 15 male students is chosen in January by a committee of girls from the Interact Club. The boys practice a dance to be performed together, then split into smaller groups for another routine before donning tuxedos. Bids beginning at $5 are called out by the audience.

Three masters of ceremony — this year high school teachers Tony Perla, Jeff Kelly and Dave McCleary — keep the crowd subdued enough to keep track of the amounts.

“The girls are screaming the entire time and encouraging them from the audience,” Peterson said.

Winners sign a contract with their dates and receive gift certificates and prizes from local businesses for their evening together.

Rick last year took his date, who happened to be his girlfriend, Gina Johnston, to the Wicked Googly and Ligonier Lanes for the evening.

She paid $330 for the honor. The top bid winner from last year earned $1,000 of the $8,000 total sent to the foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Fellow senior Robby Heventhal had fun with his date at a Pittsburgh Pirates game last year, which was won for $385.

“I'll have to turn on the charm more, I guess,” to earn more money, he said.

Heventhal says he has no problem with dancing front and center, especially after the weekly practices.

“The girls did a good job choosing the dance moves,” Heventhal said, which follow this year's theme, “Sail Away With Me.”

Before the dancing, Latrobe Make-A-Wish recipient Jillian Bowman will give a presentation about her wish: a trip to Hawaii with her family. The 11-year-old girl has bone cancer.

“Everyone knows that it's a good cause and a really fun way to raise money for something awesome,” Peterson said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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