The BAR Fitness silent auction

Brad Rogers, owner of The BAR Fitness, receives a donation to put toward the silent auction to benefit Chances for Children Friday at 6 p.m.

Emily Whitmore/AFN

If I had to name the top three characteristics important to Ahwatukee Foothills, it would be health, children and community involvement.

And a single event this evening embodies all three of these.

The BAR Fitness is hosting a silent auction to benefit Chances for Children, which focuses its funding support on partnerships and programs that provide access to sports, physical education and character education for youth.

Proceeds from the auction will go toward the 20-member marathon team, Team Chances - NYC, who are training for the 2011 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

The goal is for each member to raise $5,000 each, and more than 70 percent of the money that they raise goes toward the program.

"Bottom line: Our mission is to improve the lives of kids through fitness who otherwise couldn't afford it," Team Chances marathon program director Susan Loken said. "We do fitness programs, nutrition programs and are committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle for children."

So, back to those three characteristics. Healthy lifestyle? Check. Children? Check. So where does community involvement come in?

You guessed it, auction items.

Residents and businesses alike have donated more than 85 items to the fundraiser.

Items in the auction include a one-week stay at the Biggest Loser Ranch at Utah, valued at $3,500, four front-row Diamondbacks tickets right above the dugout, worth $200 a pop, a cruiser bike, a two-night stay at Park City, a Pete Rose autographed baseball, a $2,500 certificate to Kokopelli Cosmetic Dentistry, a year's supply of Vitamin Water and Muscle Milk, spa and salon items, dog treats, wine and restaurant gift certificates.

Free appetizers are coming from Coach & Willies in Chandler, wine will be donated from My Wine Cellar and beer from Native New Yorker.

Other participating businesses include Nothing Bundt Cakes, Purple Skirt, Expressions Boutique, Fired Up Grill, Pomegranate Café and Trader Joe's.

"The community has always been super, super helpful," Loken said.

And it's not just businesses either. Loken said Ahwatukee resident Bill Andrews single-handedly raised more than $15,000 for the team and is bringing one of his antique cars to put on display. But, sorry, it's just to look at, not to buy.

The auction begins at 6 p.m. at The BAR Fitness, 4425 E. Agave Road. So come on out, Ahwatukee, and support a good cause. This event embodies everything you hold dear and makes this community such a uniquely wonderful place to live.

Visit and click on "Team Chances - NYC" for more information.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7911 or

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