Chemainus Rotary Club president Marc Brackett addresses the crowd at the Al johnson Memorial Auction. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Spending support helps keep Chemainus Rotary auction going strong

Event a labour of love for club members to generate funds for the community

The price is always right at the Chemainus Rotary Club’s Al Johnson Memorial Auction.

No one overspends because all the money is reinvested by Rotary into the community.

Club members came together with people from other facets of the community for the Al Johnson Memorial Auction Saturday night at the Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room.

Proceeds are still being tallied from the silent and live auctions with some expenses also to be paid before the final total amount raised is determined.

“We typically raise around $12,000 net,” said Shannon Bellamy of the Rotary Club’s organizing committee.

The committee works long and hard on the event, with 173 items available in the silent auction plus 10 live auction items, a grand prize envelope draw, a deck of cards draw for a soda stream sparkling water maker and numerous draw prizes.

“It’s a worthwhile venture for us to work on,” noted Bellamy. “Every one of those $12,000 goes back into the community.”

The club did especially well on two live auction items, with a Vancouver Canucks’ ticket and accommodation package going for more than $1,000 and a four-hour cruising venture aboard a 43-foot Albin trawler out of the Ladysmith Maritime Society dock going for $900.

Tom Andrews conducted the live auction, with Ken Stanton serving as MC.

Chemainus Rotary Club president Marc Brackett spoke about the club’s active involvement in the community by its membership and the numerous fundraising and goodwill projects such as the annual trip to San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala to assist people in a remote area there with housing and amenities.

“It’s so important the number of charities that pop up even in the Cowichan Valley every week,” he noted.

“We go to Guatemala and we go to local groups and ask them how we can help.”

Brackett pointed out the membership of the club is now more than 50 per cent female.

Another change from the past is the increasing number of social events.

“In the last six months alone, our club had discussions on issues that are pertinent today,” said Brackett.

“The Rotary Club discusses those and adapts to the community.”

The auction remains an integral part of the club’s focus.

“We do the work we do from your generosity,” enthused Brackett.

Derek Hardacker spoke about the Starfish Pack program that the Rotary Club supports to help feed hungry kids in the Cowichan Valley School District on weekends.

Chemainus Elementary has been among the recent benefactors, with a measured improvement in learning resulting from it.

The Starfish Pack program started in Abbotsford and the Cowichan Valley branch is the first one on Vancouver Island.

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Daphne Granbois reaches into the Easter bracket to make the draw for a door prize. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Rotary Club Al Johnson Memorial Auction MC Ken Stanton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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