Raising money for community projects, programs is goal of Woodinville Rotary Club’s auction

  • Written by Deborah Stone
On October 20th, Woodinville Rotary Club will hold its 22nd annual charity fundraising auction.

The event, typically attended by 250 or so civic-minded folks, is being billed as the “Red, White & Brew Party” as a nod to election year.

It’s an evening of good food, fun entertainment and as always, a lively auction with Pat Cashman as the emcee and auctioneer.

According to Steve Dolan, the club’s director for fundraising, the annual event usually brings in over $100,000 and has raised more than $2 million to date for community projects and programs.

The largest undertaking for the Rotarians has been support of the Wilmot Gateway Park in the 1990s and Rotary Community Park in the past 10  years with donations totaling nearly a quarter million dollars.

The club pledged to provide ongoing stewardship of the latter through volunteer hours and additional improvements.

Currently, it is installing an informational kiosk at the north end of the park to attract attention to the 18-acre natural habitat and salmon-spawning Little Bear Creek nearby.

In addition to parks, the club is also involved with literacy in education.

“We plan to target the second grade classes at seven local elementary schools,” explains Dolan, “to support their ‘Just Right’ reading programs that encourage students to take books home to read with their parents and to provide the opportunity for more children to be reading at their grade level.”

Dolan notes that the club already sponsors reading camps at Woodmoor and Kokanee elementary schools in the summer for first year students and for those needing to improve their skills to read and comprehend at their grade level.

“We also have a college scholarship program,” he says, “where we give out scholarships for graduates of Woodinville High School and SAS.”

Scholarships range from $3,500 to $7,500 and help to make college possible for students otherwise unable to afford higher education.

Another area of involvement for the club is water safety awareness. Following the 2011 auction, it introduced a water safety awareness program for young children that has been presented at Kokanee Elementary, Northshore YMCA, BF Day Elementary and Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

The program encourages kids to pledge to “Josh the Otter” that they will not go near water without an adult present.

Participants receive a related storybook, coloring book, sticker and a musical CD to share with their siblings and parents.

“It’s all part of Woodinville Rotary’s interest in kids and education,” comments Dolan. “Through the annual auction, we’re sponsoring and supporting programs that impact the lives of preschoolers through college years.”

He adds, “Rotary is all about ‘Service above Self,’ which is our motto.”

Dolan, who is chairing the event for the second year, promises the auction will be chockfull of great items to bid on, including exciting trips, artwork, wine, local outings, cooking lessons and more.

He and his committee of 12 dedicated individuals have been working hard to make it an evening to remember and he hopes to see many local residents at the event.

“We still have space,” he adds, “and we welcome anyone who wants to share their civic pride in our community to attend.”

What: Woodinville Rotary Club’s 22nd annual fundraising event
When: October 20,  beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue
Tickets: $100 per person, available online at or call (206) 650-4439

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