Photo by Wendy Howell.
WILLIAMS, Ariz. —Williams Rotary Club’s largest fundraising event of the year is coming Oct. 29.
The 17th annual Western Auction raises money for Williams High School scholarships and other youth activities. The event is from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Sultana Theatre, 301 W. Rte 66. Besides the auction, the event includes an evening of food, music and raffles.
The Williams High School culinary arts class is catering the event and the Sultana Bar has donated the facility.
Members have been canvassing businesses and are seeking donations for the auction.
The auction is the main fundraiser for the scholarship program and youth activities, and according to Rotary President Patricia Helgeson, the funding amount is determined by community support. Some of the programs Rotary sponsors are the Williams Little League and the Williams High School mountain bike team. The group also sends students to the Salvation Army Camp and partners with the Kiwanis Club for the annual Community Holiday Dinner.
“We just try to do as much as we can that is youth based, we try to help,” said Helgeson. “We want to support the kids as much as we can to be successful.”
This year the event will have a Halloween theme, with several prizes for unique costumes.
The Western Auction usually raises between $10,000 and $20,000 each year depending on donations.
“In the past we’ve done some other fundraisers,” Helgeson said. “But this one is our biggest fundraiser. This is the one we put all effort into.”
The Western Auction will include a live auction, silent auction, a quarter auction, and raffle.
For the quarter auction, each item is assigned a value, usually between one and eight quarters, and that is the amount required to bid on that item.
They also have an “all in” option that allows someone to participate in every quarter auction for $30, two paddles can be purchased for $50.
Helgeson said usually several high school seniors along with several Rotarians will walk through Williams’ business district to explain the purpose of the auction to business owners. However, membership is currently down with the Rotary and Helgeson is hoping to draw more members to help with the programs.
“In the past we had 45 members and now we only have 20,” Helgeson said. “We can do a lot more when we have more members. But for that reason this year we want to reach out to our past scholarship recipients and parents to assist us.”
Tickets for only dinner cost $35. Corporate tables for eight people are available for $270, but only a few are left.
“We are excited for this auction, the business community and the Williams community in general have always been very supportive of the program,” Helgeson said.
A raffle drawing will also take place at the Western Auction, although people don’t need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The raffle will have many smaller items with a grand prize of $500.
“The raffle has been very successful in the past,” Helgeson said.
The Rotary Club is accepting donations for auction items. Those interested in donating or have questions about the auction may contact Helgeson at (928) 607-1210.