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Wed, July 08

Rotary auction raises<br>$4,000 in scholarships

The clang from quarters going into buckets during the Williams Rotary Club’s Western auction, echoed in the ears of all who participated in the annual event Saturday.

“We are very active as an organization for raising money for scholarships for students,” said Jac Heiss, president of the club. “For some of those students, that (the scholarship) has been a tremendous lift.”

Each table at the Western auction had a sheriff who watched to ensure each player contributed the correct bid. Once the bids were in, numbered cowboy hats were hoisted into the air and the action began. The last number called by the auctioneer before the ring of the bell ensured the holder a prize.

Williams High School seniors will enjoy scholarships from the Rotary Club because of the dinner/auction, which raised enough for four $1,000 scholarships.

“About $4,000 is what we grossed,” said Linda Russell, Rotarian. “There were 185 tickets sold out of a possible 230 — that’s about $2,312 in ticket sales.”

The other half of the money came from the live auction items, which amounted to $1,526, and the western auction. Last year, Rotary was able to give out five $1,000 scholarships.

“To make this all possible, there are so many Rotarians (who helped out),” said Heiss.

Three in particular were instrumental in the success of the evening.

“Annie Hanson, Lindie Rodgers and Linda Russell have done yeomen’s work to put this thing on,” Heiss said. “Thanks so much, you did a good job.”

Heiss went on to acknowledge others in the room.

“Thanks, Frank and Janine Rotter (owners of the Quality Inn Mountain Ranch Resort) for opening up the facility and preparing the food,” he said.

The hotel actually closed in October and was reopened for the dinner/auction.

“We thank all of you for coming tonight and making this such a successful night,” Heiss said to the crowd.

Gratitude also went out to Golden Eagle Distributers, Inc., from Flagstaff for donating the beer.

A number of local businesses and people joined in on the action and donated everything from Kachina dolls to helicopter rides to a turkey fryer. There were a total of 51 items on the table during the western auction — three of these were given away as a door prize.

During the live auction, eight items were sold to the highest bidder. These included a load of sand cinders and a load of one inch cinders from LP’s Excavating, a field CD stereo from the Route 66 Magazine and Gift Shop, a quarter-page ad in the Williams-Grand Canyon News and two tickets for the Verde Canyon Railway, a China hutch from Dr. James and Jodi Wurgler, two tickets and a parking pass to the Nov. 30 Phoenix Suns game from the Williams Health Care Center, two suite tickets for a Suns game from the National Bank of Arizona and a three day/two night stay at Ramada Express in Laughlin, Nev.

“What’s the future?” asked Ron Clayton, from Grand Canyon, who was the live auction auctioneer. “The kids. It (the money raised) all goes to the kids.”

To keep costs low, the barbecue dinner, which consisted of T-bone steak, corn on the cob, beans, coleslaw, rolls, dessert and a soft drink, also consisted of a variety of donated items from local businesses.

Kevin Kennelly, owners of Cruiser’s Café 66 and Pancho McGillicuddy’s donated the coleslaw. Howard Johnson handled the corn on the cob. Grand Canyon Railway provided the beans and Holiday Inn helped out with cake. The Stockmen’s Bank, Farmer’s Brothers Distributors in Flagstaff and Gary Killinsworth also donated to help out.

“Thank you again from the Williams Rotary Club — serving our community for over 75 years,” the Western auction program states. “We look forward to seeing you again next year.”

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