April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Junior Achievement auction offering up firehouse cooking

ELYRIA – Imagine firefighters in a firehouse kitchen preparing a gourmet meal for two lucky people.

But a deal like that is hard to come by unless you have an inside connection at the department.

JASON MILLER / CHRONICLE
Lt. Walter Leadbetter seasons his potatoes at the Lorain Central Firehouse kitchen.

Well, if that sounds like your bowl of chili, you`re in luck.

Junior Achievement of Lorain County wants to be the middle man, offering up the unique gift as one of 163 the group is auctioning off this year during the annual Junior Achievement Holiday Online Auction which kicked off Wednesday.

If an auction`s success is directly related to the goods being given away, the Junior Achievement fundraiser stands a good chance of being sensational.

“There are some great items up for bid and we will keep adding as the auction goes on,” said Michelle Marquis, the group`s executive director.

Marquis said the auction, which went live at 8 a.m. Wednesday, will run until 7 p.m. Dec. 14. At that time, the highest bid will win the prize item.

The 163 items available so far include gift certificates to local businesses such as Midway Mall Auto Details, Rainbow cards, Gifts and Flowers, Downtown Fitness Center in Elyria and Scarvelli Floors in Avon.

“This is just a great way for us to spotlight local business while raising money to continue the work we do in the community,” Marquis said.

The online auction is also a great way to reach people who wouldn`t otherwise give to a nonprofit organization.

“Everybody`s business and everybody has their own families to deal with, but this is just way more fun that just writing a check,” said Lorain fire Chief Tom Brown.

Plus, Brown said the Lorain firefighters can really burn in the kitchen.

“When you get this many guys living together and sharing meals together it`s only natural that one or two good cooks stand out,” he said. “We are always trying to outdo one another and that translates into some pretty good meals.”

We are not just talking about five-alarm chili, Brown said. Two years ago, winners dined on chicken cordon bleu and last year the feast was London broil. This year`s menu has not been set, but Brown believes it will live up to past years` sumptious repasts.

If chowing down with members of the Lorain Fire Department is not your idea of fun, you can always join Sheffield Police Chief Michael Gurich for half his shift and dinner. New this year to the auction, Gurich is donating an experience that starts with a tour of the police station, followed by a four-hour ride along and lunch or dinner in the village with Gurich footing the bill.

“Who doesn`t want an opportunity to get a front seat view of what we do from a patrol car,” Gurich said. “You can ask all the questions you`ve been dying to know the answer to, but were always afraid to ask.”

Interested in bidding?
Visit www.jalorain.cmarket.com to view the 2007 Junior Achievement Holiday Online Auction. There you can view items and find information on how you can still donate items to be auctioned off.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.