More than 300 guests attend 10th annual event

The 10th annual Valentine fundraising dinner/auction to benefit SnowCap Community Charities raised a record $63,000.

Heading into the Feb. 4 event, SnowCap had set a goal of $60,000, but organizers credited the record-breaking amount to such new activities as the 'Dessert Dash,' in which participants bid on a variety of dessert items - cakes, pies, pastries and even a box of animal crackers.

The Dessert Dash raised $5,000 and was 'mighty tasty,' said Kirsten Wageman, programs and development manager for SnowCap.

Winning bidders on the desserts were members of the Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, a longtime SnowCap supporter. Following closely in second were employees from the Boeing Company, also a steadfast sponsor for SnowCap events.

Other games and activities raised matching funds from Fred Meyer stores, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric.

The fundraiser drew more than 300 guests and featured both a silent and oral auction and dinner at the Columbia Conference Center at the Holiday Inn at the Portland Airport.

SnowCap provides food, clothing, advocacy and other essential human services to the poor in much of east Multnomah County, including Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village.

The agency is seeing record numbers of unemployed and underemployed clients, Wageman noted.

'The cost of providing food has increased as donations have decreased in the challenging economic times,' she added.

SnowCap in recent months has adjusted the size of its food boxes in response to the increased demand.

'We don't want to shrink it further,' Wageman said. 'Our pantry shelves are almost always low. That's why support of the auction is so important.'

Wageman expressed gratitude to the event's supporters.

'Revenues derived from this event will allow SnowCap to maintain services to low-income families and individuals through these especially tough times.'

SnowCap also delivers food boxes to the elderly and shut-ins, supports a summer community garden, children's clothes closet and English language instruction, operates a mobile pantry and provides other services.

Major sponsors of the 2012 event included Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, OnPoint Community Credit Union, Parkrose Community United Church of Christ and Covenant United Presbyterian Church in Gresham.

Items auctioned included vacation getaways, a plane ride over and around Mount St. Helens, professional and personal services, sports events, fishing trips, hotel and restaurant combinations, artwork and a Texas Hold'em poker party.

For more information, call 503-674-8785 or visit SnowCap is located behind Rockwood United Methodist Church, 17805 S.E. Stark St.

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