2006 Senior Benefit Auction
The Northwest Senior Activity Center's 2006 Senior Benefit Auction is coming up and the timing could not be better as the organization faces budget cuts to its nutrition program.
An additional $29,000 needs to be brought in throughout this year for the lunch program due to increased costs and reduced support from Senior Services, said Executive Director Carlye Teel.
The five-day-a-week lunch program serves 12,000 meals a year. For some seniors, the lunch provides them with their one good meal of day, along with companionship, said Teel.
Other senior centers in the city also face the same cuts.
Each year the Northwest Senior Activity Center depends on the auction and other fundraising events to raise 80% of its operating budget.
"That's why this auction is so important to us," said Program Coordinator and Administrator Justine Divett.
Once again, Jim Vatn will serve as the Masters of Ceremony (MC). He is a lifelong Ballard resident and a member of the Ballard High School Class of 1962. He is known as the "Voice of the Beavers," making announcements at the school's boys and girls basketball games.
This is Vatn's fifth year as a volunteer MC. He works with auctioneer Fergus Prestbye to raise the most money for the center.
Both men are Norwegian. "We can play off that," said Prestbye.
"They work so well together. They get the crowd excited about items to out bid one another," said Divett.
"We've got quite a comedy duel going on. He's (Vatn) got everyone in his hand, he knows them," said Prestbye.
The center has a variety of activities and programs for seniors from Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia and surrounding areas. It serves 3,500 people each year.
The programs include a daily hot lunch, exercise, nursing services, wellness clinics, social work programs, educational opportunities, socialization and field trips. There will be three silent auctions and a live auction during the dinner. Auction items include gift certificates to restaurants like Ray's Boathouse and Anthony's.
There are overnight stays at Northwest resorts like Cannon Beach, along with expensive hotel packages. Some of the higher priced items include trips to European countries and a weeklong cruise on Holland America.
The Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners donate tickets and autographed memorabilia. Last year, there was a baseball signed by pitcher Jamie Moyer.
"It's a time for the community to support the center," said Teel.
The Northwest Senior Activity Center's 13th Annual Fundraising Auction is on Sunday, March 26 beginning at 5 p.m. The auction will be held at the Leif Erikson Lodge and tickets are $50, and include dinner, dessert and free beer and wine.
Call the center at 297-0403 for tickets or make a donation. Visit www.nwseniorcenter.org.