Auction raises funds for child development center

With efforts toward building a brighter future, the Child Development Center at the Fairplex and University of La Verne Child Development program, held its 16th Annual Silent and Voice Auction on Sept. 27 at the Sheraton Suites Fairplex Hotel.

“I have been the host of the silent auction since it began, this will be my 16th year and every year I love it,” Eric J. McLaughlin, a professor from Cal Poly, Pomona said, right before reminding participants of the auction, “to remember, ladies and gentlemen, it’s for the kids.”

The Child Development Center is a private, non-profit center operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association in alliance with the University of La Verne since 1991.

Bringing together their vision of cherishing children, supporting families, building community among diversity, and pursuing excellence in early education, the two have successfully created an image for the Child Development Center, which has been recognized for being a leading edge facility.

The annual event is offered to the entire community for the silent auction portion of the event, whereas the live auction is made available to people who have made reservations or received a personal invite through the auction’s mailing list.

Tables covered in a wide variety of merchandise filled the rooms, all of which were auctioned off to the highest bidders. A numerous amount of baskets stocked with peoples personal favorites, such as one that contained University of California Los Angeles fan memorabilia, were made by volunteering parents and staff members of the Child Development Center.

Some members of the community were caught watching for potential prospects of merchandise they had made a bid on during the silent auction.

Dante Witherspoon, a ULV alumnus, who took home a nice designer watch set and ULV President, Stephen Morgan, who was trying to get his son in law a remote helicopter for Christmas were of the many eyeing their bidding opponents.

Art and Sarah Ludwick, well known participants of the annual auction, were sold beef that had been awarded the Future Farmers of America’s Reserve Champion, for $10 thousand dollars, one of the two highest bids for the live auction.

Art Ludwick made the bid after hearing that his daughter’s family, the Hanson Family, would be contributing a matching amount of the earnings made from the auction to the CDC expansion project.

The Ludwicks, being major contributors to the community, recently donated $2 million toward the “building on excellence” campaign proposed by Morgan, which provides funding for the new, Sara and Michael Abraham Campus Center at ULV.

“This event is always fun and really silly, it is a time for the community to come together and have a good time, while helping a good cause,” Alice Piatt, a decorations committee member for the auction said. “I didn’t end up getting any of the gifts I had wished to get for my grandchildren during the silent auction but I still donated, which is what truly matters,” Piatt added.

Holly Reynolds, director of children’s services, at the Child Development Center said, “It is important to note that the funds earned at the auction go to regular operating funds to cover the cost of the event and the rest of the earnings go toward the Child Development Center’s mission.”

The partnership between the Child Development Center at Fairplex and ULV has been said to have maximized the quality of both the Center’s services and the University’s child development teaching program.

“They have such an excellent program with ULV that gives them the edge on most places because of the training the teachers and staff have, I mean they all have degrees,” Jill Donahue-Hopson, Child Development Center board of directors member said.

The 16th Annual Silent and Voice Auction was another year of fun for participants in the community and another year toward benefiting the Child Development Center at the Fairplex and ULV.

Never forgetting their message, the unique partnership between the Child Development Center at Fairplex and ULV will follow their own personal slogan of “one child, one parent, and one teacher at a time.”

Hoping to bring their vision to the eyes of the community, the two partners will continue pursuing their vision as stated on the Center’s Web site, “Our vision is one of happy, healthy children who have developed a love for learning and a value and respect for others, and of healthy families, who are emotionally and economically stable and have the resources they need for good parenting.”

Danielle Lampkin can be reached at

Danielle Lampkin

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