The who’s who of Humboldt County were in attendance for the 33rd Annual Celebrity Dinner and Sports Auction in Eureka, and they raised over $200,000 for the night.
The auction is put together every year as a benefit for the Humboldt State University athletics program and athletic scholarships. Tim Flannery is a former three-time MLB World Series championship coach for the San Francisco Giants and player for the San Diego Padres. He was the special celebrity guest this year, and had an unlikely connection to the local area.
“In 1976 I was in Boulder, Colorado for the NBC College World Series,” Flannery said. “And the Humboldt Crabs – the Humboldt Eureka Crabs – beat us, and I’m still looking for those guys.”
As the event was getting started and catering was being set out, the Lumberjack athletes were in the parking lot in the back, wearing tuxedos and dresses while eating cold pizza.
Junior Kameron Curl is a guard on the men’s basketball team who was a table runner along with his fellow athletes. The runner’s responsibility is to promote themselves and the team to the community at their tables.
“It’s nice to interact with people,” Curl said. “They get a better idea as to who we are as people, and not just on the court.”
Coaches, administrators, boosters and members of the Humboldt community wined and dined on fine catering while student-athletes rushed around tables to look for some help for the university’s depleted funds.
Jovannah Arrington is a junior guard on the women’s basketball team who hit the game-winning shot for the Jacks in the conference final earlier this year against University of California, San Diego.
“We know the boosters are going to be there,” Arrington said. “To be able to serve them is a great opportunity for us, and getting to meet them is really nice.”
Flannery kept the crowd engaged with two singing performances, and stories from his more than 25 years in the MLB.
“This was an amazing evening made possible by our exceptional community,” Interim Athletic Director Duncan Robins said. “The community demonstrated its overwhelming support last fall, and continues to show its green and gold spirit in support of student-athlete scholarships.”
From shooting machines to new sports bags, this money will come in handy for the athletics program now and in the future.