By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Apr 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Dating in Milwaukee can be hard.

So instead of spending all the effort to find that special someone, why not just buy yourself a date with one of the area’s most eligible bachelors or bachelorettes?

We’re kidding, of course, but the fifth annual bachelor/ette "Meet Your Match" auction is coming up, and with proceeds going to charity, it’s not a bad time to put your romance money where your mouth is.

The Thursday, May 15 event takes place at Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St., and is presented by WGIRLS Milwaukee, a group of professional women across the country who get together to serve disadvantages women and children.

This year’s charity is Penfield Children’s Center, a nonprofit that helps infants and young children through education, therapy services and family programs. The fun runs for 7-10 p.m., and last year’s program raised $25,000, according to organizers.

But enough about all the good reasons for this event. Who can you buy a date with?

This year’s selection is a mix of young professionals, ranging in age from 22-42. Each bachelor/bachelorette (and yes, they’re actually single, and yes, actually romances have stemmed from this event) has a pre-planned date for the winners.

Some of the singles selected include Jalem Getz, president of; Mel Hendrickson, a nurse at Penfield Children’s Center; Joe Hite, renowned local singer; and Natalie Emmer, a communications professional at Kohl’s. A sneak peek of each bachelor and bachelorette with photos and bios are up for viewing at

Could be fun, right?

"I'm going into this date (which I get to pick) completely open-minded," says Kaitlyn Herzog, a 27-year-old social media strategist and contestant. "The idea is to help support Penfield, not necessarily meet my husband. Here's to hoping my highest bidder plays golf…"

"Both singles and not-so-singles anticipate this event annually because it allows the opportunity to openly mix and mingle with other Milwaukeeans in a fun and safe environment, while raising support and awareness for local charities," says WGIRLS president Rachael Hughes.

"Singles in Milwaukee are a unique breed. They’re accomplished, social and active – and value helping others in the spirit of philanthropy. This year’s list of singles not only make for a great live auction, but they’re the perfect group of people to help us raise money for a non-profit organization that serves over 1,600 Milwaukee children in need.

"It's quite an exciting experience to witness the bachelors and bachelorettes proudly stand on stage, watching the hands raise, waiting for the highest bidder to accompany them on their date, and then realize the impact they've had on helping raise funds for the organization," says Hughes. "In fact, we always have bachelors and bachelorettes ask to participate again because they have a great experience."

Says event organizer Amanda Falkowski, "It is a really fun event that connects a wide variety of individuals from around Milwaukee, singles mainly but others as well, in a fun, safe environment, raising money by auctioning off eligible single guys and gals for wonderful locally based non-profits."

She says the dates are "not typical" including skydiving, balloon rides and trap shooting.

"Through this experience the bachelors and bachelorettes all become friends as well as get connected to a variety of others in Milwaukee. Everyone wins as you make a lot of new friends and raise money for wonderful non-profit organizations in Milwaukee that support women and children."

As you can see, WGIRLS is a group that’s really embraced by its members.

"I love being part of the WGIRLS, because it connects young professional women with each other and the community," says Alyssa Geisler, who works in corporate real estate. "It’s great to be part of an organization with an outward focus – WGIRLS are driven by our mission to serve disadvantaged women and children."

"We are thrilled to partner with the WGIRLS on their fifth annual bachelor and bachelorette auction," says Jason Parry, vice president development and communications at Penfield Children's Center. "The WGIRLS are a tremendous asset to Milwaukee and we appreciate the awareness and support they are providing to Penfield through this exceptional event."

Admission for the event is $30 in advance, or $35 at the door. UBER is giving away free rides to and from the event to new users, with the code WGIRLSMKE.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.