NK Rotary sets a lofty goal for its 23rd auction Saturday

POULSBO — Rotary turned 100 just a few months ago. Now, two local clubs are turning their eyes toward the lofty goal of raising $100,000.

The Poulsbo and Kingston rotaries will be hosting the 23rd annual Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Foundation dinner auction April 9 at the Poulsbo Sons of Norway Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m. and the bidding begins promptly at 7:45 p.m.

The event is the foundation’s biggest fund-raiser of the year, financing the myriad of local, national and international projects both clubs support annually.

“We fund both hands-on and cash donations to support a variety of community service, vocational and international service projects,” said auction organizer Hugh Nelson of the Poulsbo club. “Club operations and funds to support fellowship and social activities are funded separately and not from funds raised at the auction.”

Recent local projects include: $30,000 for the Poulsbo Historical Society museum project; a $2,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County to help buy building materials for a project in Suquamish; $6,500 to help build a portion of Fish Park; and $5,000 in vocational scholarships to help local single mothers attend college.

On the international front, help includes: $5,000 to assist Rotary District 3000 in southern India in rebuilding two villages destroyed by tsunami; $3,000 to the House of Hope orphanage project in Romania; and $1,000 toward clean water initiatives in Ethiopia.

Besides the good feeling of being able to help a local civic group give back, the auction will also offer community members a chance to bid on a variety of unique items. Some of the more exciting pieces up for bid include a 2001 Ford Focus from Courtesy Auto Group, a week’s accommodations in Kona, Hawaii and even signed sports memorabilia.

Donations are still being taken for the auction and are tax-deductible.

Attendees will also be given the opportunity to support one specific cause through the “fund an item” part of next Saturday’s auction, where bids are made toward a project as opposed to a donated item. As with last year, this year’s beneficiary is the Rotary’s scholarship program, which furnishes graduating North Kitsap High School seniors with college money. The goal is to raise $12,000.

“It is our single largest budget item,” Nelson said of scholarships. “And with cuts to federal and state scholarship funds, the scholarship funds provided by local service organizations like ours are becoming more important.”

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