The 35-members of the Orchard City Women's Club held their annual fundraiser auction for local charity last Friday -- an occasion for doing good while having fun and enjoying friendship.
Members of the 94-year-old local service organization dispensed with all appearance of pondering seriousness that sometimes accompanies the financial support of social causes in the community. Instead there was interaction and laughter as the members "competed" with each other, bidding on treasurers retrieved from their own closets to donate for the fundraiser.
Auctioneers leading the action on dozens of items were members Adrienne Bruni and Jean Blanning. They encouraged the other members to increase their bids a dollar at a time, again and again until at last the lucky new owner claimed her prize.
There were lots of treasurers available -- books, tapes, handcrafted items, objects d'art, glassware, clothing, baby items and more.
Bruni and Blanning got the excitement going by performing an original skit titled "An Afternoon with Friends." The drama proceeded with two friends at an auction worried about bidding against each other for a treasure they both really wanted. As events turned out, the losing friend found the very item inside of a gift she unwrapped -- a Christmas present from the friend who had out-bid her on it.
Even so, some of the club members were a little shy about bidding for items against their friends.
"Oh, it's okay," encouraged the auctioneers with a smile. "You're not supposed to be nice to each other. Remember, it's for charity." Regardless, the ladies remained nice to each other through the afternoon while raising money for charity.
The bidding action was encouraged by plenty of friendly kidding around. The winning bidder on an item of fine clothing decided to take the prize when another said to her, "It will look better on you than the coat you bought last year."
As the event unfolded, the high spirits kept pace, too. One of two bidders on a particular item finally resolved with a sigh, "It's for my mother, but I can probably find something else." That astute bidding tactic not only won her the item, but a short time later when the bidding became slow on a pair of hand-painted ceramic rabbits, the auctioneer asked her, "Would you mother like these, too?"
Club members will decide at their monthly meeting in June which of the many deserving local charitable causes will benefit from their generosity by receiving at least part of the $705 raised by the auction. Another $100 of support was raised for the Surface Creek Animal Shelter, the DCI was told.
Members of the club in addition to the two event auctioneers mentioned above and listed in a current roster are the following: Clarice Bagwell, Jenna Bemis, Maria Botsford, Wanda Brunemeier, Betty Davis, Marge Davis, Mary Ditlove, Jan Gage, Barbara Grant, Miriam Hartig, Shirley Hawkins, Jenna Childress-Hinkley, Evelyn Huckeby, Darlene Johnson, Betty Kendrick, Lana Kevan, Carolyn Kinberlin, Carol Kincaid, Carol Martinson, Jene McPhaul, Mildred Miller, Dorothy Moe, Bev Moore, Barbara Murdoch, Zee Pacheco, Deanie Papurt, Sherry Polson, Karleen Sollenbarger, Kim Strueck, Sharon TenNapel, Marsha Thomas, Vicki Thompson, Sharon Wear and Donna Widner.