Political consultant Mike Murchison and his wife Tracy have created an event they're calling Long Beach Challenge — Feeding Our Community.

Instead of fighting the ban on large group gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Murchisons have embraced it by launching an on-line auction. They have gathered, and continue to gather, auction items by challenging their friends to donate something. Those friends then challenge two more people, and the giving network grows, Tracy Murchison said in an email.

The concept came from businessman Michael Rubin's nationwide All-In Challenge Fundraiser. After discussions with several Long Beach nonprofits, the couple settled on the Long Beach Education Foundation and Meals on Wheels of Long Beach as the recipients.

The education foundation is raising money to support the Long Beach Unified School District meal program, which is currently providing meals to more than 5,000 students and families each day. Meals on Wheels has seen its program grow by 40% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, currently delivering meals to more than 600 homebound people in the city.

The Long Beach Challenge is accepting donations for the auction until July 1 — and accepts cash donations as well. Bidding on the auction site begins today, Monday, June 1, and runs to July 15.

Auction items so far include rounds of golf at area country clubs, dinner experiences at top restaurants, tickets to Major League Baseball games and a PGA golf tournament and more.

To make a donation or register to bid, go to one.bidpal.net/lbchallenge/welcome. For more information, call 562-439-5000 or email rhonda@mowlb.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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