If the quilts are being hung and the barbecue is fired up, it means it's time for the annual Lower Columbia Hospice picnic and auction.

The event will be held at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds Wednesday.

Members of the Astoria Lions Club will barbecue salmon and oysters. Silent auctions will close at 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the oral auction starting at 7 p.m.

The event is the major fundraiser for Lower Columbia Hospice, a program of Columbia Memorial Hospital. LCH provides hospice care in Clatsop County. It is a multidisciplinary service providing comfort care to those who are terminally ill. LCH has been providing hospice services to Clatsop County since 1981. Additionally, since 1999, LCH has owned and operated a licensed adult foster home in Warrenton - Hospice House - that provides around-the-clock supervised care to hospice patients.

There will be entertainment by The Brownsmead Flats, a contest for the best depiction of Johnny Cash, four auction venues plus children's activities. A raffle will be held for a trip to anywhere in the continental United States with two airline tickets and a $1,000 hotel/activity package, available for $20 per ticket on the night of the auction or at the LCH office at 486 12th St. in Astoria.

Stokes Auction Group will supervise the bidding for the oral auction at 7 p.m. Donations include Pendleton Round-Up tickets, paragliding, sailboat racing, overnight packages at local inns, hotels, and condos, in addition to fine art, camping equipment, toys, jewelry, a Tiny Spencer Mastodon-handle specialty knife, outdoor furniture and dinners at local restaurants.

As in past years, numerous quilts made by community members will be available in all the auctions.

The dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. and children's activities start at 7 p.m. Dinners cost $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12. The event is alcohol-free. There is no admission fee to participate in the auction.

Monies raised support hospice's child bereavement program and defray expenses at the hospice house. For more information, call the Lower Columbia Hospice office at 503-338-6230.

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