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Rotary gala serves as fundraiser for drilling water well in Uganda
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Around 75-100 Breakfast Rotarians, family, and friends gathered at McMinnville Country Club Saturday night to celebrate the club’s annual gala fundraiser.
This year’s theme was quite unique. It was called “An Evening at South-ebys,” and instead of a silent auction guests got to bid in real time by holding up round, numbered auction cards, much like an auction at the famous Sotheby’s Art Auction House in Britain. Some of the auction items included were The Big Green Egg, jewelry, a Lane recliner, Traeger grills and two Jackson kayaks.
The fundraiser featured a meal, along with dancing and live music from a band called As Good as Gold from Nashville.
Breakfast Rotary president David Snowden said he was pleased with the event.
“I think it was a huge success,” Snowden said. “We sold the great majority of our auction items and we had, from what I heard, around 75 to 100 guests or so. We’re so appreciative of our community, the folks coming out and taking part, we just had a great time. Our auctioneer David Simpson did a great job and we raised a lot of money.”
Breakfast Rotary past president Rachel Killebrew says the gala provides money for a number of projects.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year for our projects,” Killebrew said. “It supports our Romanian orphanage for one. We send them $400 a month, so that’s a big project. Then our REACH project where we pack the food for West Elementary students to take home. We help 30 kids there. We also supply funds for Interact Club, Boy Scouts, and of course this year our big one is we’re financing the digging of a well in a Christian village in Uganda. We have $2,500 to raise for that. We’ve got a matching grant for that from Rotary International, so we’ll have $5,000. Noon Rotary is working with us on that. They’re doing $5,000 and we’re doing $5,000.”
The event also featured a special birthday cake and tribute to Bob Brown, who is 74 and the eldest Breakfast Rotary member. The highlight of this celebration was an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday” by Snowden.
“I sang to him, I had a great time doing that,” Snowden said, “and I’ve had several requests to do it at other birthday parties, so I guess I’ve got something I can do after my term as Breakfast Rotary president is over. Bob really enjoyed that. We had a nice thank you card from him yesterday. A number of folks turned up just for his birthday. And oddly enough someone somehow transposed the numbers on the candles and instead of 74 it said 47. I think he got a kick out of that.”
Snowden says he appreciates how everyone in the club worked together to make the gala a success.
“I want to offer a huge thank you to the board, the gala committee and everyone involved,” Snowden said. “The reason this is always a great success is because it’s a concerted effort of everyone doing their part and taking an active role in making sure it all came together. I am grateful for that. The gala always rests on the shoulders of our entire club. The club made it a success.”