The Seaside Rotary is looking within and outside the community for charitable giving opportunities. They’ll be sharing their fundraising drive with members of the public at their annual charitable auction on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Funds this year go to college scholarships, senior citizen programs at the Bob Chisholm Community Center and water quality efforts around the world.
This is the first year the Seaside Rotary has provided funds for the Bob Chisholm Community Center. The center, at 1225 Avenue A, is undergoing a refresh to its main hall and seeking to meet costs of improvements.
Last year the club gave $20,000 in scholarships — the most of any local service organization in the region, Rotary’s Doug Barker said.
Barker and Raven Brown are co-chairing this year’s dinner, which will provide scholarships to Seaside High School grads. Out of 15 to 30 applications, “six or eight” are provided scholarships, Brown said. “We rank them on answers to the questions based on their financial need and their families, how they’ll pay for their school and what they’ll be able to do with that in terms of the community.”
The foundation considers grants from all 501(c)3s that apply Brown said. “We look for ways to serve seniors any way we can. This one we think is important because of the service to the community they serve hundreds of meals out of the center, we think it’s really important.”
One former scholarship winner, Ashley Flukinger, now a partner in the law firm of Moberg & Rust, received Rotary support both as an undergraduate and in law school.
Seaside Rotary’s $7,000 gift of a clean water system in Tanzania was matched by funds from 22 Rotary groups worldwide, amounting to $238,000.
The event is themed with “the Mad Hatter’s garden party.” Wear your favorite fedora, or wear a costume to suit the theme of the evening: the Queen of Hearts, Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. Prizes will be given for “most fabulous” hat or costume.
Auction items include tickets and a backstage pass to the hit Broadway show “Aladdin,” arranged through the largesse of former Seaside resident Dick Sarpola, Barker’s former partner at Coast Hardware and a musician in the show’s stage orchestra. Other live auction items include a baseball signed by members of the championship Oregon Beavers and a day in the state Legislature with Sen. Betsy Johnson.
Seaside Rotary boasts 52 members, plus an influx of international visitors from among the 35,000 clubs in the world. “If you’re wearing a pin, you’re welcomed in,” Brown said. “That’s what Rotary’s all about.”
Tickets are $60, available from the Seaside Rotary website; price includes buffet dinner, appetizer and beverages. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Civic and Convention Center.