Charity auction winner announced

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The winner of <i>Inside Carolina</i>'s charity auction received the autographed basketball and gave a check in the amount of his winning bid to the Volunteers for Youth Foundation at a presentation Thursday afternoon in Meadowmont Village.

"We are so grateful to Donnie Barnes for his generous bid, which demonstrates that he is not only a true-blue Tar Heel fan but an advocate for our community's children," said Susan Worley, VFY's executive director.

Barnes, the owner of a vintage game room store called Timeless Machines in Chapel Hill's Meadowmont Village, won the auction with a bid of $2,000.

"I'm happy to have the opportunity to help out a great local charity and obviously am happy to get this basketball, too," Barnes said.

The ball, provided by the North Carolina basketball office, is signed by the entire 2003-04 Tar Heel basketball team.

"The response to the auction was overwhelming and we're so excited that we could help out a terrific local organization," said Audrey Pukash, Inside Carolina's Sales & Marketing Director.

The auction was held at earlier this month. The Inside Carolina staff also made a significant monetary contribution to VFY independent of the auction.

"At its best, athletics at UNC has always been about much more than scoring points or winning games," Worley said. "For a publication devoted to covering UNC sports to give back to the community in this way is an eloquent statement of Inside Carolina's understanding of the principles of Tar Heel athletics.

"Since 1982, hundreds of local youngsters at risk of school failure, substance abuse, or delinquency have reaped the benefits of Volunteers for Youth's mentoring, community services, and recreational programs," Worley said. "So many of these children are avid followers of UNC sports that a contribution from Inside Carolina is especially meaningful."

Volunteers for Youth is a private, nonprofit, United Way organization that has been making a difference for young people in Orange County, N.C. since 1982. Through mentoring programs, community service projects, and recreational activities, Volunteers for Youth reaches out to local youngsters at risk of school failure, substance abuse, or delinquency. Each time a child forms a lifelong and sustaining relationship with a caring adult and each time a young person in trouble learns important job skills through special training sessions, the whole community takes a step forward. Touching the lives of local youngsters and making those lives better is what Volunteers for Youth is all about. Click here to find out how you can become a part of this worthwhile organization.

From left to right: IC Sales & Marketing Director Audrey Pukash, auction winner Donnie Barnes, VFY Board President Chris Blue, VFY Executive Director Susan Worley.

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