Ryan’s House is taking Big Red Event to the big red barn

Ryan’s House For Youth is seeing red — at least when it comes to their upcoming fundraising gala auction. The Big Red Event will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Greenbank Farm.

Ray Green and Angi Roberts

Ryan’s House For Youth is seeing red — at least when it comes to their upcoming fundraising gala auction. The Big Red Event will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Greenbank Farm.

The nonprofit youth organization is inviting the community to join it for an elegant evening, dressed to impress — in red of course — while enjoying wine, appetizers and bidding on auction items donated by local businesses.

Lori Cavender, executive director of Ryan’s House For Youth, said there are many fundraisers, but this one will certainly be special.

“Everything that night will be red,” she said. “We ask that people wear red. We’re serving red wine, there are red balloons and so on. It will be fun.”

The Big Red Event will be held at Greenbank Farm because it’s a central location, so all supporters on the island are able to attend.

It will bring the whole island together, Cavender said.

“We serve the entire island. That’s why we chose Greenbank as a location to bring both North and South Whidbey together,” she added.

The group’s event goal is to raise money in support of homeless youths on the island, and the everyday expenses that make sure those youths are being supported and served.

The auction will feature a plethora of local items and experiences.

“One of the most special items is a beautiful handcrafted Whidbey Island shaped pendant with a diamond right where the shelter is going,” Cavender said. “It came from Linds Jewelry.”

But there are countless other great items to bid on, including a summer barbecue Humming-bird Farm for 25 people. There are rides in red Ferraris to be auctioned off, a lunch with Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson and more.

Ryan’s House For Youth is a nonprofit building the first homeless youth shelter on the island.

The building will house 16 youths between the ages of 13 and 17; although they serve youth ages 12 to 25 in other ways. Ryan’s House serves all three school districts on Whidbey.

Their end goal is to have buildings on each side of the island serving ages 13 to 17 and 18 to 25.

For the youth shelter, a lot of things have been moving forward. The building that will be located in Clinton is still in its planning stages, but a lot of site work has been done. The organization is exploring a capital campaign.

But the Big Red Event is focused on many of the programs that the organization is providing, including its successful host family program.

“Our big goal for this year is to obtain more host families, especially on the South End,” Cavender said.

Last year, Cavender said a lot of great success stories came out of the hosting partnerships. Ryan’s House had placed a pregnant teen in a home and she had the baby in a safe and loving environment. In another case, Ryan’s House was able to help a student find funding for college.

Another big goal for this year is to raise three-quarters of the money for the youth shelter and to be able to continue educating the community about the issue of homeless youth, Cavender said.

“Good things are happening,” Cavender said. “I’m just pleased with the amount of students that we have been able to help.

Tickets cost $30 a person and each ticket includes the first drink, appetizers, bidding number and one raffle ticket.

Tickets are available online at www.ryanshouseforyouth.org.

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