A lesson in money management | CraigDailyPress.com

A lesson in money management

Jamie Choi repeatedly raised her paint stick in the air, only to lower it again, unsatisfied.

She would hold it high in the air for the man with the microphone to see, but then he’d shout another number and she’d pull her arm down with disappointment in her eyes.

She was bidding on several items up for grabs at the Club bucks auction at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig on Friday, and she wasn’t having much success.

But, just in the nick of time, Choi, 9, held her stick high and walked away with a Hot Wheels toy for her brother, and a smile on her face.

Program Director Rob Winn said it’s moments like this that make the auctions worthwhile.

“They get a reward for good behavior,” he said. “They’re punished for bad behavior very regularly, but there’s not enough positive reinforcement.”

Members earn Club bucks by doing homework, helping others and keeping the club clean after school. Community donations then build up the bank of toys for sale at the auctions, which are held every three months.

Winn was surprised that items such as the Slinky, which went for $50 in Club bucks, would be worth so much to members.

“It’s hard to put a value on things like that,” he said.

It also is hard to see how much having an authentic auction can mean to the youths. Jamie, Susie and Shelby Lord of Lord’s Auction came to make the event the real deal.

“I think it helps them to learn to count and make sure they have enough to get what they want,” Susie said.

Jeremy Kelsch, 10, was doing just that.

He walked into the auction, on his birthday, with $248 in Club bucks that he had been saving.

He walked out with $3 and a new bike.

“I kept seeing that in Mr. Rob’s office so I thought it was for the auction,” he said.

“I really wanted it.”

Dru Nielson, 10, has more than $350 — the most of any member at the Boys & Girls Club — and he decided not to participate in this auction.

“I want to save up so I have $1,000 and everyone else has $900,” he said, “so if there’s something really cool, I could buy it.”

He’s holding out for a Lego set. He said this little lesson in life is one his parents instilled in him.

“If I spend it all when I’m young, I won’t have (money) when I’m like 15 or so,” Nielson said.

He plans to keep earning bucks by doing his homework at the club each day and putting the bucks away. This experience has been one that he thinks he’ll carry with him as he matures.

“I learned that if you get a lot and you have the most in the whole club, you can get what you want,” he said. “You have the opportunity to get more stuff.”

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdaily-press.com.

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