Sons members share the wealth with area needy

POULSBO — The Sons of Norway rang in the holiday season by making sure Christmas came to many more families in Kitsap County.

The annual ShareNet auction at the Sons of Norway took place Dec. 7 and garnered $3,820 for the non-profit. ShareNet Director Kim Planck was on hand at the lodge this week to receive the check, as well as the proceeds from a food and toy drive held this month.

“I made a comment once that ‘but for the grace of God go all of us,’” commented event organizer Doc Casper. “We’re all pretty fortunate to have jobs and homes and nice clothes. I see people everyday that you look at them and you have to wonder how did they get there and what kind of Christmas are they going to have?”

The auction is now a 17-year tradition at the hall. During the Christmas of 1986, Casper recalls driving through Poulsbo’s projects, now the location of Poulsbo Place.

“At that time of year, it was pretty depressing,” he remembered.

Arriving at the Troll’s Den, the Sons of Norway lounge, Casper mentioned his concerns for local needy families to some friends. They encouraged him to put together some sort of fund-raiser. That first year, the gathering raised about $1,000.

“So every year we have it,” Casper said. “We just get people together and have a good time and all the money goes to local charities.”

Sons member Bea Allen said the Poulsbo organization chose the food bank in Kingston as its beneficiary in order to serve as many neighbors as possible.

“ShareNet serves all of Kitsap County, whereas Fishline, for instance, only serves the Poulsbo area,” she commented.

The annual event usually draws about 40 or 50 people to the Sons of Norway Troll’s Den. Allen said Casper, who serves as auctioneer each year, keeps the action and the laughs rolling through the event.

“Doc just auctions everything off right there,” Allen explained. “And he’ll say things like, ‘You just scratched your nose. You bought that for $50.’”

Items for this year’s auction were donated by The Nordic Maid, Liberty Bay Auto, Hearts and Homespun, The Outback Steakhouse, New York Deli, Sian Palace, Applebee’s, The Poulsbo Sport Haus, Dahlquists Jewelers, Jim’s Poulsbo Gun Shop, Bad Blanche, Central Market, Victoria’s of Poulsbo, the Sons of Norway Lodge, The Hula Grill and Flowers to Go in Poulsbo.

And while members are helping bring more joy to local families this Christmas, Casper said he also feels the event makes the holidays more merry for all. He said he intends to keep the tradition going as long as possible.

“It makes me feel good,” Casper said. “We can all go shopping and buy someone we love something but what really makes you feel good is to know you’ve shown the spirit of Christmas to someone who needs it. You’ve affected someone’s life you may never know.”

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