Boardwalk of Miracles Auction Raises $158,100 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

It started with silent bidding on everything from giant stuffed bears and bicycles to wine, whiskey, chocolate and coffee. It moved on to 16 special packages featuring vacation getaways, luxury shopping excursions and dream trips for sports fans.

And when it was done, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Boardwalk of Miracles auction raised $158,100 – including a $25,000 grant from CO-OP Financial Services’ Miracle Match program – for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“The money you raised tonight will stay right here in the Northwest,” NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang told bidders on the second night of the Association’s annual Amplify Convention in Portland. “It will help to fund research. It will build ICU wings for preemies. It will help to hire the most brilliant minds in medicine, who are dedicated to saving children’s lives.”

10-9-13-auctionNorthwest credit unions started the Credit Unions for Kids program in 1986. Now credit unions’ national charity of choice, it has raised more than $110 million for the 170 hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network, including $12 million in the Northwest alone for the region’s six network hospitals – CMN Hospitals of the Inland Northwest, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Rogue Valley Medical Center, Sacred Heart Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Elijah Diggins, a former patient at one of those hospitals, thanked a hushed Amplify crowd for its support. Diagnosed last year with Burkitt’s leukemia, 14-year-old Elijah underwent chemotherapy at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. To help him cope, his family and friends shaved an “E” into their hair in solidarity. And it was in solidarity that his dad, Dwayne, his mom, Yuki, and his brother, Lucas, joined him at the auction to say thanks.

“Doernbecher has done so much for me,” Elijah said. “It’s been more than just receiving treatment and helping me feel better. I appreciate how much they really cared about me and all the other kids and their families. I am very thankful for all the great doctors and nurses, and I am thankful that it was Doernbecher Children’s Hospital that helped me get back to good health.”

Emcee Nick Allard, a meteorologist for Portland television station KGW, then turned the microphone over to auctioneer JillMarie Wiles, who called for the first bids on an item that also had ties to Doernbecher – a pair of Air Jordan 9 Retro DB sneakers designed by 11-year-old Oswaldo Jiminez for the Doernbecher Freestyle collection.

Oswaldo, who was diagnosed with Severe Pulmonary Hypertension after a series of fainting spells last December, worked with Nike designers to create the shoe while he was a patient at Doernbecher, and his story obviously touched a nerve with bidders. The shoes fetched an impressive $600.

Elijah Diggins and his parents, Dwayne and Yuki, join emcee Nick Allard at the NWCUA’s Boardwalk of Miracles auction, where credit unions raised more than $130,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Elijah’s story touched a nerve, too. One of the evening’s most emotional moments came after CU Business Group won a trip for two to Spring Training baseball games in Arizona with a $2,500 bid. The company, which had originally donated the package to the auction, gave it to Elijah and his dad, prompting a five-minute standing ovation.

Credit unions upped the ante on Radio Flyer wagons filled with toys and games – a popular Credit Unions for Kids tradition –by  bidding $49,000 for nine wagons that will now be delivered to the six Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in Oregon and Washington.

Also popular with bidders: a fishing trip on the Columbia River and a golf outing at Bandon Dunes; tickets to see the Beavers take on the Trojans in Corvallis, to watch the Huskies and Cougars in the Apple Cup, and to see the Seahawks play in Seattle; and vacation getaways to Timberline Lodge and to a cabin on the Metolius River.

Ducks and Beavers fans got their chance to help the cause, too. A package that included two tickets to the 2013 Civil War game at Autzen Stadium and tickets to Civil War basketball and baseball games in 2014 fetched $1,700.

For their donations, Boardwalk sponsors got premium seating at the auction, as well as two bottles of private-label wine. But the best part? Auction items that they won were delivered directly to their rooms at the hotel.

 Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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