Coaches Brandi Wittenborn (left) and Lauri Thomas browse the silent auction offerings during the Creswell High School Boosters' 15th Annual Athletic Benefit Dinner and Auction last Saturday. Photo provided
Silent and Live auctions, Dessert Dash, raffles and games raised about $35,000 during Creswell High School Athletic Boosters' 15th annual auction, held April 27 at CHS.
”This is a really fun event and our biggest fundraiser each year, but it is also essential in supporting our student-athletes,” said Boosters President Lori Leavitt. ”The money we raise is used to purchase uniforms and needed equipment every year. We also have a long-term fund established to save up for some of the bigger items on our wish list.”
A silent auction featuring more than 150 items, hors d'oeuvres and fruity, slushy non-alcoholic cocktails opened the Luau Party-themed event, followed by dinner and a few words from CHS Principal Adam Watkins.
Auctioneer Larry Tardie donated his services in vending 15 live auction items.
Top sellers included two $250 Creswell Point S Tire & Auto Service gift cards ($700 total); 10 yards of sand or gravel from Marple Excavation (sold twice for $600 total); a Night on the Town package including a night at the Eugene Hilton, two tickets to ”Wicked” and $50 McMenamins gift certificate ($550); and a Helicopter Experience donated by Tardie and a Guided Fly-Fishing Trip donated by Wardog Guide Service ($400 each).
During the ever-popular Dessert Dash, the table with the highest bid picked first from a tableful of delectable sweets, then the next-highest bid, and so on.
Purchasers of one or more leis ($5 each) played a 50/50 game of ”Heads or Tails” for half the game pot; a Bulldogs gift bag was raffled to purchasers of limited-edition Creswell Bulldog hats ($25); and one lucky Golden Ticket holder (tickets were $50 each) won their choice of any live or silent auction item (excluding the Mexico trip).
The wider, deeper value of this fundraising effort was brought home by guest speaker and longtime coach Brandi Wittenborn, who said that after moving to Creswell years ago she was frustrated by the limited sports offerings and facilities and turned to a former mentor for advice.
”He told me I needed to grow where I was planted,” Wittenborn said, sharing three keys for seeking opportunities to grow and to help others be their best, no matter where you live.
First, Dig Deep: Invest in your community and others; be a leader; volunteer and serve your community and you will see your community grow. Second, Go Wide: Help others grow; invest in areas beyond your own interests or sport. Third, Hang Tight: Persevere through good times and bad, enjoying small successes along the way; instead of dreaming of ”greener pastures” elsewhere, don't give up and make where you're living a better place.
The fact that three-quarters of the nearly 200 attendees stood after Wittenborn asked how many of them (or a family member) she had coached over the years vividly demonstrated how well she has followed her mentor's advice.
”Please help me continue to grow my community and donate to the things we need,” Wittenborn said, opening the floor for Gifts from the Heart donations, which totaled $3,700.
About 20 student-athletes volunteered at the event, displaying ”cheerful attitudes and great teamwork while donating their time and hard work to make the auction a success,” Leavitt said.
”Our goal is to help our student-athletes build great memories, learn teamwork and strive to better themselves and their community,” she added, reflecting Wittenborn's message.
This year's Leader of the Pack sponsor was Farmers Insurance Ryan Hoffstot Agency. Big Dawg sponsors were Creswell Point S and Banner Bank. Bulldog sponsors included Halvorson Contracting, Emerald Valley Dental, Marple Excavating, Fix Auto, Radcliffe Real Estate Team and The Bean Hopper.
The Boosters' wish list includes a track timing system, a cover for the field bleachers, sand for the second long jump pit, new field lights, new scoreboards inside and outside, batting cages open to youth through high school, a warm-up softball pitching area, a multi-use turf field for football and soccer, tennis courts and more.
”We would like to be more competitive, up-to-date, and able to host more athletic events by updating and improving our facilities,” Leavitt said. ”We want the pride of our community to be seen through the support of our school and our athletes.”
For information on how to donate, or to join the CHS Athletic Boosters visit creswellhsboosters.org.