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Banks auction cancels after 39 years

Annual fundraiser for schools fails to find a volunteer chairperson


For the first time since 1973, there will be no Banks Community Auction this year.

"This would have been the 40th year," Cindy Schorn, a mother of four, president of the Banks High School Parent-Teacher Organization and a longtime supporter of the auction, said Monday. "I'm really saddened by this."

Schorn said the PTO board, which organized the annual event, decided in January to put the auction on hiatus after its members "searched high and low" for someone to chair the event and came up empty.

The auction has typically drawn more than 300 people to the Banks High gym each spring and raised between $22,000 and $24,000 for scholarships, sports and activities. It also donates 10 percent of its proceeds to the community's "Helping Hands" fund. In 2012, auction organizers gave $1,500 to the Banks library from the fund, Schorn said.

Carolina Malmedal has chaired the auction for the last two years, but bowed out this year because she will be out of town the weekend of the event, which is held the third Saturday in April. One year, the BHS band chaired the event.

Schorn herself considered the volunteer post, but from January to April she is busy "doing taxes for a living," she said.

"It's a big, big job," Schorn noted. "We start in December, and it's pretty much a full-time thing for whoever chairs it. We just didn't have anybody step up."

Garage sale continues

Despite the loss of the community auction, a garage sale that accompanied the auction will go on as usual on Saturday, April 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the junior high school.

"That will bring in maybe $3,000," said Schorn, who isn't satisfied with the forced canceling of the larger event. "We're going to have to do something else, maybe find another venue to raise funds for the schools."

Budget cuts have added to the Banks School District's financial burden in recent years, and the auction — which raised enough money for the PTO to award as many as 20 scholarships of $500 each to deserving high school seniors — was a way of giving back.

"It's a sad thing to watch it go," said Schorn.

Anyone who has ideas about how to bridge the auction gap can contact her at 503-324-9072.




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