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Poulsbo Rotary has ‘an aye’ on donations

POULSBO — The Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary crew is stocking their holds with swag and shine for next April’s pirate-themed auction set to raise funds for local student scholarships and community and international charity work.

Setting its sails and steering toward the event earlier than usual, the club is seeking donations in hopes to stow away a whale-sized bounty by the time the auction weighs anchor.

“What we’re trying to do now is get started early for next year so we can maybe package some of these items together to make a unique thing that you wouldn’t find at other auctions,” said auction chairman Dan Weedin. “This is it. What we raise during this auction is basically what funds the following year. As a Rotary club, from not only a local stand point do we do things, but we do things on an international basis as well.”

Weedin said the club’s 2007 auction was a record-breaking one, with nearly $100,000 raised, a savvy $35,000 of that going toward scholarships. The increase has allowed them to give larger scholarships to a greater number of deserving local students.

“Last year, we definitely shattered a record by bringing in $35,000,” he said. “That was a huge amount.”

Weedin said next year he hopes to raise $125,000, and allocate $40,000-$45,000 toward scholarships. He said the club has received as many as 70 applications for academic support in the past. Students from North Kitsap High School, West Sound Academy and Spectrum Community School are all eligible, and must show academic excellence and community involvement.

“It’s a grueling thing to try and narrow that down,” he said.

The 26th Rotary auction is slated for April 19 at the Sons of Norway. A silent auction will kick off the event followed by a live bidding round. Airplane trips, condo stays, jewelry and autographed sports paraphernalia have all been up for grabs in the past.

“The live auction items tend to be kind of the higher profile things, trips, opportunities to go to ski lodges, golfing,” Weedin said. “We’ve had really different items that people have enjoyed getting.”

Funds raised from the event also go toward community causes. Previously, Rotarians have donated money and services to Martha & Mary, North Kitsap Fishline and Olympic College, among others.

“We’ve done a variety of things both at a local and international basis,” Weedin said. “The only way we can do that is if we have money. Truly, the more money we raise, the more we can give away.”

He said aside from items being donated, services and cash donations are also appreciated, and go a long way in making the event possible.

To donate items, money or become a sponsor for the auction, contact Weedin at (360) 271-1592. Donations are tax-deductible.

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