Rotary hopes auction will help continue its works

POULSBO — Ask a Rotary member what the club is all about and they might tell you about helping eradicate polio internationally.

Or bringing clean-running water to a rural town in Canada.

Or buying pigs for farmers in Vietnam.

Or building Oyster Plant Park in Poulsbo.

The efforts of the service organization spread throughout the greater North Kitsap area and beyond. But, members say, they couldn’t do it without the generous contributions of community members at the club’s annual auction.

“It does such great work,” commented this year’s auction chairperson Todd Tidball of the money raised at Rotary’s largest fund-raiser of the year. “Some people may never find out what

their $200 donation does, but it does make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.”

This year’s auction is slated for April 26, and with all of the 230 seats already sold Tidball said making the group’s $45,000 goal seems within sight. In fact, members expect the auction could make as much as $50,000, which is great because every dollar will go toward a wide list of 2003 projects.

“It’s just an amazing thing that comes together for one day and we’ll turn it all around and give it back to the community,” Tidball commented.

Besides the club’s ongoing projects like helping wipe out polio (it is estimated it may be gone by 2005), and the club’s adopted Vietnamese village, a number of local projects will benefit from the auction proceeds. The second phase of the Oyster Plant Park is one, while replacing the floor of the Kvelstad Pavilion this summer is another.

Some of the items that will be up for grabs at the auction include:

•One week at a Hood River vacation home

•Belly dancing lessons

•Tickets for the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train

•Day trip for two to the San Juan Islands via a private plane

•Two instant wine cellars

•Boxlight video projector

•One week use of a Class A motor home

•Jewelry pieces from local jewelers

•Catered champagne brunch and boat tour for eight

•The chance to be an honorary Poulsbo City Council member for one evening

A “fund an item” will be another opportunity offered at next weekend’s auction. Tidball said this year’s item is helping Poulsbo’s Fishline Food Bank buy a van for pick-ups and deliveries. He said “fund an item” is a way for folks who attend the auction but do not end up buying anything to still contribute.

“We don’t have anything to auction off. We just ask, ‘Who would like to give $250 to help Fishline buy a van?’ And then we take all of those bids and then we ask, ‘Who would like to give $100 to help Fishline buy a van?’ And so on,” Tidball explained.

And even if a community member missed the opportunity to buy tickets to the event, they can still bid on one item. Courtesy Auto Group donated the choice of a 2003 Ford Ranger, Chevy S10 pickup, Suzuki Aero or Mitsubishi Lancer. The winning bidder gets to choose one of the vehicles. Tidball said anyone not attending the April 26 event interested in making a serious bid on the vehicles can call (360) 697-3000 and Rotary members will help the individual place a bid. He expects the vehicle to go for at least $8,000-$10,000.

“And the best thing is all of the money goes to Rotary,” Tidball said of the vehicle donation. “Sometimes with big items like this, it’s only everything over a certain amount goes to the group, but with this one, the full amount goes to Rotary. It was a very generous donation by Courtesy.”

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