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Annual auction raises funds for SE Rotary Club charities

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - John and Jo Zoller examine items in the Rotary Silent Auction.The gym was transformed into a “winter wonderland” – again this year featuring a “Great Wall of Hand-Decorated Wreaths” – as the 2012 Southeast Portland Rotary Club Wreath Auction and Dinner got underway on Saturday evening, December 1st, at the Our Lady of Sorrows campus at S.E. 52nd and Woodstock Boulevard.

It drew a larger crowd than in past years: Some 200 members and guests placed bids on, and won, 80 decorated wreaths -- and also many silent and oral auction items, in this unique “triple auction” for the Holidays.

“This is our major fundraiser of the year,” The club’s Auction Chair Judy Tester told THE BEE. “Our club foundation donates to many local organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, Loaves & Fishes, and our own signature project – assisting Families in Crisis – in cooperation with the counselors of elementary schools here in Inner Southeast Portland.

“And, we give to international efforts such as ‘Shelter Boxes’, and especially the worldwide effort by Rotary International called PolioPlus – to inoculate every child in the world against Polio, and stamp out the disease forever. We’re about four countries away from doing that now – there are only a handful of polio cases in the world this year. There are kids in the United States who don’t know what polio is!”

After the attendees tucked into a dinner, featuring chef-carved prime rib, they bid on 17 live auction items, including vacations, diamond earrings, landscaping packages, and a 3-D high definition television set.

The annual event at the start of December netted about $20,000 this year, all of which will be returned in the club’s charitable activities. The club meets most Monday noons at the Eastmoreland Golf Course Grill, and visitors are always welcome to attend. For more information on the club and its activities, go online to: www.SoutheastPortlandRotary.com