NEHALEM - North Tillamook County's nonprofit Rinehart Clinic will be the beneficiary of proceeds from the Sandollar Auction Sept. 17.

The live and silent auction will feature donated items including original art in a variety of mediums, handmade quilts and Afghans, surfboards, furniture, vacation rentals and a host of gift certificates redeemable at local and out-of-area businesses. The event will feature "a sit-down dinner prepared by the finest chefs in North Tillamook County," said Dr. Harry Rinehart, clinic medical director.

The Rinehart family medical practice began in Wheeler, where the clinic is located today, in 1913, when Dr. Rinehart's grandparents, Dr. Harvey and Ella Rinehart, set up shop. Their son, Dr. Robert Rinehart and daughter-in-law Dr. Dorothy White Rinehart, continued the practice, beginning in the early 1940s.

The current Rinehart Clinic became a full-fledged nonprofit entity in 1996, in response to escalating health care costs, and a local population ill-equipped to pay them, noted Dr. Rinehart. Since then, the clinic has relied on community support to care for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

"As we face reduced state funding, the clinic remains committed to community service without discrimination toward those less fortunate," he said.

So far, that local backing has allowed the clinic to distinguish itself in its mission.

"Community support of the Rinehart Clinic not only allows comprehensive ambulatory care to all who grace our door, but also propelled the clinic to be recognized as the Oregon Outstanding Rural Health Clinic in 2004," he said.

The clinic offers primary medical care, as well as X-rays, a full-service lab, minor surgery, cryosurgery, EKGs, smoking cessation counseling, advanced care of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure and bone density testing.

The auction will feature a fund in the name of Glen Downs, a clinic board member who died in February.

"Glen wholeheartedly supported the Rinehart Clinic and its mission to provide primary healthcare to all in North Tillamook County, regardless of their ability to pay," said Dr. Rinehart. "We have a total of $12,500 in this fund dedicated to indigent care, as Glen wanted. We have a special tribute to Glen in our auction catalog, and donors' names will be listed, if they so desire."

The auction is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 17, at the Nehalem Bay Winery, in Mohler, on the south end of Highway 53. While only 100 tickets will be sold, a handful remain available. To purchase tickets, which cost $65 each, call the U.S. Bank Manzanita Branch at (503) 368-5131 and ask for Rivena.

Visit (www.rinehartclinic.org) to see a preview of auction items. For more information about an auction item, or to place a bid, call Patty Rinehart at (503) 368-6081.

Those who are unable to attend the auction, but would like to make a donation, can mail financial contributions to: Rinehart Clinic Sandollar Auction c/o US Bank, PO Box 99, Manzanita, OR 97130.

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