Bachelors ready for bidders in autism event

ALBANY -- Albany area bachelors said Tuesday they are more than willing to go up for auction for a great cause at the Albany Autism Center's Bid For Bachelors event Friday.

Cole Taylor, 18, said he is not nervous about accompanying his date for the night full of music included in his date package.

"It's for a good cause and all for charity," said the budding country musician.

The winning bidder for Taylor's date package will get to spend an evening with the young bachelor backstage at the Tracy Lawrence concert at the State Theater April 24. The lucky winner will also be treated to a massage and a gift certificate to Blush.

Taylor will also be performing at the Bid for Bachelors event.

Ben Mosely, 31, said the event will be his first experience as a bachelor up for grabs, but he is willing to do anything to raise autism awareness.

"I'm trying to help out any way I can, and if that means that I'm going to be auctioned off, that's okay," he said.

Mosely, a regional representative for the Georgia Soil & Water Commission, said his date package will be a must-have for any beach lover.

The winning bidder who claims Mosely's date package will receive a two-night stay at a Waterside Village condo in Mexico Beach, Fla. The date package also includes a gift certificate to Anytime Fitness for a two-month tanning membership.

Bert James, 59, said he has been involved with Bid for Bachelors before, and autism is a cause close to home.

"I have a friend in college whose child was diagnosed with autism," he said.

James said the event has many different types of date packages for anyone's taste.

"They are nice date packages, and the event is going to be a lot of fun. You have to have a good sense of humor to be up there in front of the crowd," he said.

James' date package includes a weekend getaway to Treasure Island, Fla., and dinner for two at Caddy's Waterfront.

Chris Carver, 19, is also a veteran of Bid for Bachelors. He said he was once a mini-bachelor when he was 3 years old.

"I had a basket full of all kinds of stuff that people were bidding on," he said of his experience.

Carver, a psychology major at Georgia Southwestern State University, said he does not mind being up for auction again.

"It doesn't bother me at all. I'm just glad to have the opportunity to be helping out people," he said.

Carver's date package includes an hour-long hot air balloon ride in Tallahassee, Fla., a one-hour massage from Wil-Power and a basket full of tanning supplies, in addition to tanning visits at Hot Tin Roof in Leesburg.

"I think my date package is something that a lady would enjoy," he said. "I'm pretty excited about it actually."

Twenty bachelors from numerous backgrounds and a wide range of ages will be up for auction, along with their unique date packages that include travel destinations, spa treatments, jewelry and tickets to sporting events.

Kelli Halstead, the Bid for Bachelors coordinator, said the night is not just for single ladies; there will also be a silent auction at the event with an assortment of items available to bid on.

A complete list of bachelors and their date packages, as well as silent auction items, can be found online at albanyherald.com.

Halstead said the event welcomes all bidders and that some bidders may be able to ask bachelors to opt out of packages if they wish to take their spouse or significant other on the trip instead.

"There really is something for everyone, so we are encouraging couples and singles to come and enjoy the event," she said.

Some date packages include tickets to sporting events -- such as NASCAR races and Atlanta Falcons games -- for which coordinators urge other guys to bid and make it a guys' night out.

"A lot of the date packages allow you to bring additional people along with you, so if a guy wants to go to the beach he can bring whomever with him. We also have a lot of family packages up for grabs. We welcome anyone to come and bid," said Halstead.

All donations are tax deductible, and all proceeds will benefit the Albany Autism Center. Coordinators of the event said they hope to raise at least $10,000 in order to build an academy in Albany designed especially for children with autism.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by DJ Rod and the music of Taylor.

The Bid for Bachelors event will take place Friday at the State Theatre. A reception to meet the bachelors will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the auction is set to begin at 8:30 p.m.

Advanced tickets are $10 for the event and $15 at the door. Reserved tables are also available for $50 in addition to ticket prices.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at The Wingate Inn, Bailey Chiropractic, Envy, Lake Park Storage, Candler's or the Albany Autism Center at 2115 Old Dawson Road.