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Annual Christmas benefit to take place Dec. 5

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The city of Milton has a reputation for giving, and this holiday season is no exception as the Brightening 4 Children Giving Wreath Program and the Underprivileged Children’s Fund are inviting the community to their annual Christmas benefit at Bud’s Saloon and Steakhouse on Dec. 5 for a night of live and silent auctions, raffles, specials and a spaghetti dinner.

The benefit has been a local tradition since 2008, when the event raised $3,800 for kids in need. Since then, the fundraiser has grown exponentially and was able to raise $17,000 last year.

“We just started realizing how big it was going to be. It ended up with committees and people in the neighborhood getting so excited,” organizer Teresa Gray said.

Brightening 4 Children is a local program that helps underprivileged families get Christmas gifts through the holiday season.

“I know that with the harder economic times that we’ve fallen under, the need is greater than ever. I don’t think there’s anyone alive who hasn’t had some kind of need at some point in their lives. This is a golden opportunity for those that were lucky enough to have that assistance from loved ones or friends. It’s golden opportunity for them to pay it forward, and it’s a fun event. It’s a win-win,” board member Laural Lentz said.

The Underprivileged Children’s Fund is a group of anonymous schoolteachers who identify kids in need assist them throughout the school year.

“Now we’re taking [the benefit] to another level. Their organization helps kids all year, whether it’s cap and gowns, bus passes for kids that want to finish education, dental or doctors. It takes it to every need, not just for the Christmas season,” Gray said.

The silent auction always offers some unique items that can take care of some early Christmas shopping. While the baskets are not yet finalized, donations on the docket include a hand crafted rocking horse and quilt. Patrons can also expect a variety of bicycles, gift cards and unique trinkets. Of course, it’s becoming a tradition to have plenty of Seahawks memorabilia to bid on. Last year, a basket filled with blue and green swag sold for $650, and Gray thinks that may even be topped this year.

‘We’re going to have a lot of Seahawks things to auction off this year,” Gray said. “People take out their wallets and they’re just so generous.”

The event is free to get in to, though the group suggests bringing your debit card and cash to not only potentially buy some unique gifts, but to help a community in need.

“It’s a really fun event that everyone looks forward to in the community,” Gray said. “I think what makes it so successful is the people that we have working on it.”

Bud’s is located at 2702 Milton Way, and the festivities will begin at 5 p.m., and end at 8 p.m. For more information or to make a donation, contact Teresa Gray at (253) 278-2015 or Patricia Nowacky at (206) 380-9971.