Pilot story by Andrea Barkan

The annual Bruin Bash Auction garnered $10,800 April 2 -a new record for the Safe-n-Sober fundraiser.

Ironically, less people than usual attended this year's auction at Brookings-Harbor High School, coordinator Bill Coons said.

The Safe-n-Sober Parent Committee solicited auction items from 578 individuals and businesses, Coons said.

Things looked grim the morning of the auction. Coordinators Bill and Sandy Coons thought they didn't have enough stuff.

But community members came through.

andquot;Then somebody shows up with a pickup load,andquot; Bill said. andquot;Then somebody else says, '(You) forgot about my stuff.'andquot;

The organizers' goal of $7,000 was quickly surpassed as bidders bought everything from a pool table to plumbing fixtures.

Dan Brattain and Paul Arnett shared auctioneer duties this year.

andquot;They worked well together,andquot; Bill said.

Other interesting items included karaoke machines, motorcycle apparel, auto equipment and paintings, he said.

Money from the Bruin Bash pays for the Safe-n-Sober graduation night party at Wild River Pizza.

A small portion of funds go to rent the venue and pay for party supplies. Parent organizers use the rest to buy a plethora of prizes for graduates.

andquot;We try to give the kids something that is useful and practical after school,andquot; Bill said.

This year, prizes will include laptop and desktop computers, furniture and tool kits.

The Safe-n-Sober Parent Committee is also searching for a camera company that could give them a price break for a bulk order.

If they could buy 128 digital cameras for $40 each, every BHHS graduate could get one, Bill said.

Every graduate always gets a goody bag at the party, Bill said.

Historically, 100 percent of graduates have attended the annual party, which parents put on to keep students out of trouble on their big night.

andquot;We're trying to contain the kids the night of graduation so they don't do something I wish they never would have,andquot; Bill said.

andquot;If we prevent one kid from becoming abused, hurt or mangled for life, it's worth everything we've done,andquot; he added.