$111,061 RAISED FOR DISABLED.
This weekend's Desert Haven Auction raised $111,061 as more than 600 people came out to bid on trips and other items to benefit the mentally disabled, event organizers said Monday.
The auction, held Saturday evening at Challenger Memorial Hall at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, fell short of last year's total of $127,000, but organizers still were pleased with the results.
``To raise more than $100,000 in six hours in an activity is phenomenal,'' said Jim Moran, auction chairman.
About 75 items were sold off in the grand auction and 360 more were sold in mini-auctions. Items auctioned off this year included an Arabian horse, which sold for $1,200; a 1989 Yamaha 750cc motorcycle, which went for $3,250; and several trips, including a trip to Australia, sold for $3,100; a Cancun jaunt, for $2,300; and a trip to the Pacific island of Moorea that sold for $2,300.
This year's top item was the right to have the head table at next year's auction, which was auctioned off for $3,500.
The auction proceeds will supplement the $2.4 million operating budget of Desert Haven Enterprise Inc., a nonprofit job training center for about 250 developmentally disabled people.
``The fund-raiser is vital to us,'' said Jenni Moran, executive director of Desert Haven.
Desert Haven began 40 years ago this month when Jack and Luella Henstra sought a playmate for their mentally disabled son, Jimmy. Responding to an ad the Henstras placed in a newspaper, a group of parents met and formed what eventually would become Desert Haven.
Desert Haven evolved from home-taught preschool classes to a school and then to a vocational training center in 1966. In 1982, a 25,000-square-foot center, including the 14,000-square-foot workshop, was built.