BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Light Up Night and Charity Auction raised more than $2,300 in its 10th year supporting money for a Brooke County charity.

The Thursday event featured a live auction of more than 20 Christmas trees, wreaths and baskets decorated by Bethany College offices, student groups, and Greek organizations.

About 100 people attended the free public event, and all proceeds from the auction benefit Bernie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides gifts to children across Brooke County.

Jerry Stebbins, vice president for student life and dean of students, also thanked those who helped bring the event back after a year’s hiatus because of COVID-19.

“We’re really glad to be back, helping Bernie’s Kids and the community we live in,” he said.

Bernie’s Kids is named in honor of Bernie Kazienko, a former Brooke County sheriff and commissioner who died of cancer in 2011.

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The Brooke County Deputy Sheriff’s Association continues the tradition in Kazienko’s memory.

Cain Auctioneers of Steubenville, Ohio, volunteered to call the auction.

BRB, a band comprising Bethany students Will Sarver, Theresamarie Banks, Civanna Tomes, and Roman Hulver, provided live music.

The food truck So Nuts 4 Donuts provided specialty doughnuts for students.

Bethany’s Office of Student Life received the highest bid of the night, earning $350 for its Advent calendar stuffed with gift cards. The Department of Alumni & Advancement’s comfy-cozy-themed tree, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee’s #ONEBethany tree, and Student Life’s “Money Tree” all fetched at least $200.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.