Experience the glitz and glamor of the Roaring Twenties, reincarnated for an evening during the Rotary Club of Seaside’s annual fundraiser dinner and auction.
The Rotary Roaring ’20s Gala will hark back to the days of speakeasies, flapper girls and the rising popularity of jazz with a sort of “‘Great Gatsby’ aesthetic,” said Rotary President Raven Brown.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Attendees are invited to come in period costumes — think gangsters, silent film stars, bootleggers or Bonnie and Clyde — but they are not required.
The gala, Seaside Rotary’s main fundraising event, is put on each fall featuring a different theme. This year’s event committee was chaired by Rotary members Al Peinhardt and Greg Sawyer.
In general, the Seaside Rotary fundraises to support various area programs and service projects through its general operating fund. However, two fundraising activities at the gala will benefit specific causes.
First, donations brought in through the paddle raise will support the club’s annual Wishing Tree and Shop With a Cop programs, put on during the winter holiday season.
For about 20 years, Brown said, the Wishing Tree program has provided presents to underprivileged children and families in the area to help them celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or other winter holidays. Shop with a Cop, however, is relatively new to the club.
Last year, 10 students from Broadway Middle School were selected and paired with officers from the Seaside Police and Cannon Beach Police departments. In December, the group was treated to breakfast at Pig ’N’ Pancake and then went to Fred Meyer, where each officer accompanied their assigned student as the children picked out gifts for their immediate family members. The officers used gift cards to purchase presents for the middle schoolers themselves. Thanks to a discount from Fred Meyer, Brown said, they were able to maximize their funds for the project.
“It was really heartwarming, having that experience,” Brown said.
The fun-filled day also encouraged students who may have been exposed to certain experiences that caused them to form negative associations with law enforcement to instead foster a constructive connection.
“It was a really cute way to create that positive association and do community building,” Brown said, adding some of the officers continue to stay in contact with “their kid.”
This holiday season, the program will expand to 20 students and the law enforcement partners will include Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an Oregon State Police officer who serves the local area, in addition to officers from the local police departments, Brown said.
Another fundraising activity within the gala that supports a specific project is the blinky sale, where 99 blinkies are sold at $100 per piece. The winner whose blinky number is drawn can select a live auction of their choice, except for out-of-state trips. This year, the funds raised will go toward creating a new scholarship to help a local student acquire vocational training or attend trade school in lieu of traditional college. Rotary already gifts roughly $20,000 in scholarships to Seaside High School graduates pursuing postsecondary education.
Brown said they have not determined the specific parameters of the new scholarship, but the Rotary Club recognizes vocational and technical careers “are very important to our society,” and some students prefer that training.
The Rotary Roaring ’20s Gala will also include live and silent auctions featuring items and vacation packages donated by local businesses, individuals and Rotary members. A 1920s-themed photo booth, including period props, will be set up.
Tickets are $65 per person. Walk-ins are accepted, but Rotary encourages people to purchase tickets prior to the event from a member or online at www.Bit.ly/RotaryAuction2017. Attendees must be 21 or older, as alcohol is served. For more information, visit seasiderotary.club or 503-717-4197.