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Auction means action for Lincoln-Way-area women’s group

Bonnie Gallagher New Lenox Laurie Siegel Chicago's Beverly community Lori Durish New Lenox ClaudiBomber New Lenox display their 'angels' Wednesday

Bonnie Gallagher of New Lenox, Laurie Siegel of Chicago's Beverly community, Lori Durish of New Lenox, and Claudia Bomber of New Lenox display their "angels" Wednesday at the 37th annual Lincoln-Way Area Business Women's Organization Holiday Auction at New Lenox VFW Post 9545. | Jaime Angio~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 10, 2014 6:10AM



Nearly 250 women packed the banquet hall at New Lenox VFW Post 9545 on Wednesday evening for the 37th annual Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization Holiday Auction.

Members of the organization and their guests raise proceeds from the auction that will be used for scholarships for girls from the Lincoln-Way high schools and Providence High School, and for women who are continuing their education.

As the women entered the VFW hall, there were Christmas trees shimmering with lights and the sounds of Christmas music playing.

Tables were adorned with crisp, white linen, with Christmas-red napkins, shiny silverware and candles.

There was a seemingly endless table of items to be auctioned off. Christmas-themed items, beauty-themed, wine-themed and more.

Auction co–chair and co-auctioneer Judy Niemann of Dunn & Niemann real estate in New Lenox, said a number of women come together every year to support other women.

“Everybody loves to come and see everybody,” Niemann said. “The good part about this is that they are not all working women. They are retired women or women who would like to work and are looking for jobs, and a lot of them own businesses and a lot of them work for businesses.

“Last year we were able to give away $12,000 worth of scholarships,” Niemann said. “I really enjoy doing it and I hope that I can continue doing it for a while.”

After a catered dinner by Connolly’s Catering in Manhattan, the auction started and women held up “angels” as bidding numbers.

Andrea Rudolph, 36, of New Lenox, came to the auction for the second year with a group of 10 women.

“It’s for a great cause,” she said. “There’s something special about doing it as Christmas as opposed to any other time of year ... everybody just has the giving spirit.”

And on which item was Rudolph using her angel to bid?

“The spa package,” she said.

Jennifer McManus, 49, of New Lenox, attended the auction to get involved with the community.

“This is my first auction,” she said. “It’s great. It’s amazing how it’s put together and all of the stuff that people donated is really nice stuff. I’m a newbie, but I’m looking forward to spending a lot of years with everyone.”

As for her angel for bidding, McManus said, “I’m into the baskets you can give as gifts.”

New Lenox Trustee Annette Bowden said this was her 21st LWABWO Holiday auction.

“The whole function is, I think, something fabulous,” Bowden said. “It brings the community together and the ladies of the community together and it’s all for a good cause and great hearts. I think everyone is very generous with time as well as their money. So I think everything that they’re doing with their organization does nothing but benefit the whole community.”

The target for Bowden’s angel?

“Oh, the entire table,” she said.

Faye Kallas, 47, of Munster, Ind., works for The Center for Integrated Medicine in Tinley Park and is involved with the Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization. This was her second holiday auction.

“It’s fun. It’s different,” she said. “It’s exciting, especially the gold baskets. You don’t know what you’re receiving. Some get good things and some get movie prizes, but it’s exciting. It’s getting everybody out for a good cause. I think it’s great with all the women in one area and all the things we can accomplish.”

And Kallas’ angel was going to be raised for “the gold baskets,” she said.



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