UPDATE: The Quarter Auction helped raise roughly $10,000 for the Mason Cole and Christopher Lowe scholarship funds, according to the auction committee.
“We’re really excited. It’s very humbling to see everyone come together and help raise funds. It’s one of the only ways we have left to show them how special they were and how much they meant to us,” said Samantha Ortiz, one of several women pulling together to raise money for the Christopher Lowe and Mason Cole scholarship funds through a quarter auction.
Sponsored by the Hendry County Fair Board, the Quarter Auction benefiting the Christopher Lowe and Mason Cole scholarship funds will be held Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the John Boy Auditorium.
Happy hour will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature a full bar and DJ. Wings cooked by the Clewiston Elks Lodge will also be available for purchase. The auction will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Donated items will be auctioned off for quarters and raffles will be held, as well.
After the auction, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., the DJ will start up again for an hour of dancing and fun.
Some of the items up for auction include gift certificates to local businesses such as Bella Vida Day Spa and Common Grounds, a $100 gas card, summer camp sessions from the city of Clewiston, a Kate Spade purse, tanning packages from Southern Glow, Krafty Kut Outs and a massage from Samantha Adams.
The quarter auction is free to get in. Paddles for the auction cost $2 and it is important to bring plenty of quarters to bid on items.
The auction also featured 10 tables that have already been sold for $100 each.
The auction crew will be making roughly 300 to 400 paddles which will be sold at the door.
“This is very close to my heart. Anything we can do to keep his memory alive,” said Candace Sanchez, cousin to Christopher Lowe.
Sanchez joined Samantha Ortiz, Sherry Lee, Taylor Beebe and Shelby Mitchell to organize the Sept. 19 event.
Sherry Lee, Clewiston resident and close friend to both families, has been instrumental in raising funds for the two scholarships funds since they began. She organizes a High-Heel-A-Thon each year, usually held in February. Friends describe Lee as a “very loving and giving person.” The auction was her idea.
Both Christopher Lowe and Mason Cole were beloved members of the community. They lost their lives roughly five years ago, Christopher to leukemia and Mason to a car accident.
To keep their memories alive, friends and family began raising money to give scholarships in their names. The Christopher Lowe Scholarship Fund is awarded to graduating Clewiston High School seniors, while the Mason Cole Scholarship Fund is awarded to any student attending a fire academy.
Because the two young men lost their lives so close together, family and friends began holding benefits together to raise funds for both scholarship funds.
Since the funds were established, the community has given more and more each year.
“It gets bigger and bigger each year. Clewiston has definitely been good,” said Sanchez.
Lee Lowe, Christopher’s mother, agreed.
“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. The memorial fund we give is from the community, not our family. The Lowe family is very grateful,” said Lowe.