By Elizabeth Hustad firstname.lastname@example.org
Possible vision for next winter: your kid out on the ice, shooting the puck at Thaler and wearing a Captains Club-funded uniform while you yourself wear a jersey signed by Ryan Suter. Two cool things right there and maybe a Westonka win completes the hat trick.
If that’s to be reality, you’d best get yourself to Carbone’s.
Carbone’s Pizzeria Bar & Grill in Mound is stepping up to the plate with a sports memorabilia auction benefiting Westonka’s athletic programs.
The restaurant is partnering with Universal Sports Auctions, formerly Total Sports Enterprises, to hold week-by-week bids through at least the end of the school year. Already, four weeks of auctioned items have brought in $1,000 for Westonka’s young athletes.
Items for bid have been as varied as a replica helmet signed by Harrison Smith and a framed print of the Nintendo cult classic, Punch Out (with a pixelated Mike Tyson signed by the actual Mike Tyson).
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to the omelet breakfasts and taco dinners that normally would help sustain Westonka’s programs and “they’re really hurting right now,” said Craig Goodrich. Goodrich, with Universal Sports, is also a member of Mound-Westonka Rotary.
“To hold an event is just wild and crazy right now!” added Jeff Peterson, activities director at Mound Westonka High School. Even hockey games, usually the district’s biggest winter money-maker, are having to be live streamed this year.
Rachael Schwankl, general manager for the Mound Carbone’s franchise, said that all of the proceeds the restaurant receives from auction sales, a cut of 20 percent, will go to the school district’s activities department.
From there, Westonka’s Peterson said the money would be added to the department’s Captains Club fund, which allows dollars to carry over beyond the current school year and which helps to cover uniform replacements and extra requests from multiple sports programs.
Not every host location is as generous as Carbone’s, added Goodrich: many keep the money for their own business needs, he said.
- Bid on items at Carbone’s Pizzeria Bar & Grill in Mound by 1 p.m. on Tuesdays
- Highest bidder wins; winner is contacted every Thursday
- Items are on display and up for bid for one week, after which new items will be put up for bid
- All items are available for pickup at Carbone’s or, for an additional fee, can be shipped
- Carbone’s will donate all of its 20 percent cut of the sales to Westonka youth athletics
- Weekly auctions will run through at least the end of the school year (first week in June)