2023 Rotary Auction raises over $90k

The theme for the 2023 Rotary Auction was “Rotary’s Night of Fun ‘n’ Games… Students Win!”. Participants dressed up as their favorite game, including this crew who decided the ‘Price is Right’ to raise funds for Florence area youth. Auction participants, from left, Will Yurman, Meg Spencer, Jo Beaudreau and Jenna Bartlett. Courtesy photo

63rd annual event’s board game theme is a hit

April 19, 2023 — When Florence Rotary hosted its 63rd annual auction on March 11 it was the end of an era.

Long time Auction co-chairs Kevin McMullen and Kim Erickson partnered up for the final time for the 2023 event. This was Erickson’s 8th time co-chairing and, even more remarkable, McMullen’s 20th year.

Dana Rodet will take over for the team next year and will have big shoes to fill after the successful 2023 edition of the event.

The theme for this year was “Rotary’s Night of Fun ‘n’ Games… Students Win!”

“Each table chose a different board game that they could dress up as,” explained Erickson. “The majority of people came dressed up and had a lot of fun with it and came in full dress for the event. We had people dressed as Battleship, We had people dressed up as Pictionary, Clue, CandyLand… just all different types of board games.”

Over 300 people attended the event and were spread out over the 38 tables sold by Florence Rotary. After a hiatus from COVID, Erickson was pleased to see the event return to past glory.

“We are definitely back on the upward swing of things,” said Erickson. “People were excited to be out and about and to be supporting the youth.”

The youth also helped to support the event as a combination of Siuslaw High’s Interact Club kids and the 2023 Rhododendron Festival’s Senior Court helped put on the auction.

“Right from the beginning these kids are doing community service and getting involved,” commented Erickson. “That’s what Rotary is all about.”

What the Florence Rotary Auction is all about is raising money for area youth and they certainly did that on April 11.

The event raised $93,438.62 bringing the all-time total raised for Florence Rotary at the event to $1,840,371.37.

Auctioneers for the event were Blair and Bob Sneddon, continuing a tradition of a Sneddon taking bids at the event for the last 54 years. Another example of the community’s support is the Florence Events Center who has graciously housed the auction for 25 years.

These are just two examples of longtime community support that Erickson would like to bring attention to.

“We would really like to thank the community, businesses, and countless individuals who have donated to the Rotary auction for so many years,” said Erickson. “Every year your donations of either items, gift certificates, or cash go towards such a good cause and our kids are forever grateful for it. We have seen kids receive scholarships and come back to live in our community and pay it forward and that is what is so amazing.”

The community showed its amazingness during the years where there was no auction because of the pandemic. Remarkably, even when COVID canceled the event, Florence Rotary continued to fund over $50,000 in scholarships for local college bound high school graduates.

The next big fundraiser for Florence Rotary is their annual golf tournament in August. For information on this and other Florence Rotary happenings visit their website:  www.theflorencerotary.org/.