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More dancing bachelors expected at Derry Area Interact Club's auction for Make-A-Wish

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 6:09 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
A group of Derry Area High School 'bachelors' stand for a group portrait on Friday, March 14, 2014. Derry Area High School Interact Club will be sponsoring the annual Bachelor Auction on March 28, 2014. This year's bachelor list includes seniors Ryan Compton, Dominic Craine, Sal DeCario, Izaak Fulmer-Moffat, Zach Hafer, Dylan Hamacher, Ethan Huston, Joey Kelly, Alex Stemmler, Matt Vasinko, Connor Wege and Zack Zimmerman; and juniors Owen Boring, Troy Balega, Josh Flack, Cam Gerhard, Ryan Maloy, Brody Patrick and Jake Zemba. Seniors Andrew Downey and Luke Ridilla are not pictured.

Derry Area High School's most eligible bachelors soon will strut their stuff for a good cause.

The Derry Area Interact Club will host its 20th annual bachelor auction at 7 p.m. March 28 in the middle school auditorium.

Through its 19 previous auctions, the club has raised roughly $65,000 for charity. Last year's auction featuring 15 bachelors generated $8,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which will be the beneficiary of this year's event as well.

This year, the Interact Club, affiliated with Rotary International, has increased the field to 21 bachelors.

“It's just a lot of fun to be there and contribute with all your classmates,” said senior Sal DeCario, who participated in the auction last year. “It's for a good cause, so everyone has a good time. I went to lowerclassmen and went around to recruit a couple new guys that could dance.”

Dancing ability is key because the bachelors perform choreographed group dance routines at the start of the auction to pique the interest of the bidders, who must be at least freshmen in high school but younger than 21.

The dancing is “a lot more work than I was expecting,” said Cam Gerhard, a junior making his first bachelor auction appearance. “We practice a lot for it. Our dances are pretty involved.

“My brother is a couple years older than me, and he did it both years when he was in high school, too,” Gerhard said. “It just seems like a really good time, and it's for a good cause. That's really what pushed me to do it.”

Emcees David McCleary, Jeff Kelly and Tony Perla, all teachers at the school, will scramble to keep track of the bidding.

Bids start at $5, and competition can be fierce, the bachelors said.

“We try to do extra dances. Sometimes our dances will be longer,” DeCario said. “While they're bidding on us, we can kind of taunt them on to give us more money.”

“Last year, there was a really good bidding war that went on for 20 minutes or so, maybe even half an hour, going back and forth between two people,” said Jake Zemba, a junior participating in the auction for the first time.

Through donations from local businesses and individuals, the club is able to send each bachelor and winning bidder on a date that includes dinner and an activity.

Bachelors have not yet been officially matched up with specific dates, but the excursions include dinner at Jerome Bettis Grille 36, The Cheesecake Factory, Longhorn Steakhouse or P.F. Chang's and tickets to Pirates and Penguins games, Phipps Conservatory, the Carnegie Science Center or Skyzone.

The auction always draws a big crowd to the auditorium, Interact Club President Katie Mastrorocco said. Admission is free.

“I'm expecting a good turnout of people,” Zemba said. “There's going to be a good number of people there. There's 21 of us (bachelors), so there should be a good amount of money going to that cause.”

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913, or