It takes the support of the entire community to make the Optimist Club's motto of being a friend to local youth a reality.

Over the last 40 years, more than $1 million has been raised by the Stephenville club through its annual auction and returned to the community through donations to projects and programs that benefit local children, according to Optimist President Glenn Newberry.

Most recently, $10,000 in auction proceeds were used to fund the installation of an automated irrigation system at the Stephenville Soccer Association Complex.

Optimists also continue to provide annual funding for Boy and Girl Scouts, scholarships, track meets, Toys for Tots, Project Graduation, Erath County Junior Livestock Show, All-Stars League and many other projects and organizations across the city.

The 40th Annual Stephenville Optimist Club Auction will be held Friday at Tarleton State University's Wisdom Gym.

The hundreds of bidders that flock to the auction - and others who bid from the comfort of their homes - and the more than $45,000 in goods and services donated by local businesses and individuals helps the club continue in its mission of "Bringing out the Best in Kids."

Sign-up for the event and silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m., and bidding on live auction items will begin at 6:30 p.m. The auction will continue until all items are sold.

Those who can't attend can take part in the action by watching on Northland Cable channel 9 with bids being accepted by phone by calling 918-7602, 918-7603 or 918-7604.

A few items up for bid include more than $6,600 in cash, home furnishings and decor, a 30,000 mile maintenance package for any vehicle, gift certificates and more.

For more information, call Newberry at 968-2143 ext. 235 or auction chairman Lee Schwartzkopf at 965-3145.