Sunrise Rotary offers truckload of auction items in Hagerstown

October 22, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - The tables at Four Points Sheraton's grand ballroom were piled high Sunday with collectibles, gift baskets and other fine wares, but as Mindy and Jim Marsden made the rounds, they had their eyes on dirt.

Topsoil, to be specific.

"One single-axle dump truck of topsoil delivered within a 20 mile radius," a donation from Callas Contractors, was one of more than 200 items up for bid at the Sun Rises Over Rotary dinner and auction, a fundraiser to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Discovery Station and the Sunrise Rotary Foundation's annual grants to local nonprofit organizations.

"We have lots of friends who are in the Rotary Club and we know they give (the proceeds) to good places," said Mindy Marsden, 61, of Hagerstown, who was interested in the topsoil for a home landscaping project.

Meanwhile, a video about Mountainside Bed and Breakfast near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., attracted two Hagerstown couples who said they attend the auction each year to bid on vacation packages.


"It's good to just walk around and see what's here, even if I always get outbid," said Lynne Hamann, 53. Two years ago, when her husband's 50th birthday was approaching, Hamann said she bid on a Hill High Farm fall harvest trip until the price reached more than $500. She said she planned to try again this year.

This was the sixth year for the auction, which is the largest annual fundraiser for the Hagerstown Sunrise Rotary Club, said the organization's president, Mary Anne Burke.

Tickets cost $35 and included dinner, auction chair Kathy Harple said. The group sold 270 tickets and raised about $50,000 through the event, Harple said.

Members and businesses from throughout the county donated items for the auction, but Harple said the event benefits most from the generosity of member Manny Shaool, owner of Manny's Home and Design Center, who donated about 40 rugs and dozens of other home-decor items.

In addition to benefiting the Boys and Girls Club and Discovery Station, the organization plans to contribute some of the money toward its attempt at raising $100,000 over five years for the Waltersdorf Henson Endowment Challenge. Money raised for the challenge is invested in a Community Foundation of Washington County endowment fund, and will be matched by a joint contribution from the Richard A. Henson Foundation and the John M. Waltersdorf Family, Burke said. Eventually, the doubled funds will be returned to the Sunrise Rotary Foundation for distribution to local nonprofits, she said.

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