A cornucopia of wonders featured in silent auction to raise fundsSome "crafty" Clatsop County employees are again lending their creative skills to the county's United Way fund drive.

Several county staff members have donated handmade gifts for a silent auction going on through Tuesday. The items are on display in a case in front of the assessment and taxation office on the main floor of the county courthouse, 749 Commercial St.

It's the fourth year that the talents of county administrators and staff have been tapped for the fund drive. Leslie Atkinson, an administrative assistant in the county administrator's office who coordinates the auction, said she's impressed by the skills shown by those making donations.

"I'm surprised we have so many crafty people," she said.

The auction raised about $250 its first year, but last year brought in more than $800, and Atkinson hopes this year's bids top that mark.

Items on the auction block include a hand-built Adirondack chair crafted and donated by Community Development Director Bill Armold. Teena Adams from the county administrator's office provided a tole-painted plate; Assistant County Administrator Deb Kraske donated a tole-painted tray. And County Administrator Jim Azumano gave two handmade leather belts he made.

Other items include handmade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls from Lori Johnson from the district attorney's office; a handcarved Santa Claus by Eileen Ystad from assessment and taxation; a rosemary wreath from Public Information Officer Andrea Kennet; a handmade journal from Karla Bighill of the Sheriff's Office; and a framed vintage postcard from Don Van Osdol of the elections office. Property manager Sirpa Duoos gave a pair of socks hand-knitted by her aunt, who was visiting from Finland.

Human Resources Director Dean Perez provided several items, including a gift basket, lotions, tea towels, and a commemorative baseball from Walt Disney World.

Two other staff members are offering their piloting and motorcycling skills for the auction. Sheriff John Raichl will take the highest bidder on a one-hour airplane flight over the county. Road maintenance worker Sam Reeves is offering a half-day ride on the back of his Harley-Davidson to the buyer's choice of destinations: the Oregon or Washington coasts or a Mount Hood loop.

People can make bids until noon Tuesday. A notebook listing the items and the bids is in the clerk and elections office in the courthouse.

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