Rotary Auction helps fund many island causes


Since 1960, the annual Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale has raised nearly $5 million for service projects. It’s a major recycling event and a community volunteer effort that raises a lot of money.

Residents don’t have to look far to see those funds at work.

One-third of the proceeds are allocated to the club’s Major Projects Fund, which may accumulate from year to year. Over the years, that fund has helped build and expand the Bainbridge Public Library, Bainbridge Commons, Boys & Girls Club, the Don Nakata Pool, the storage barn at Helpline House and Rotary Gateway Park.

Two-thirds of funds are spent each year for ongoing community programs, international work and smaller projects. Rotary invites funding requests from schools and non-profit groups, evaluates the requests, and makes allocations as funds permit.

Thanks to in-kind donations by local businesses and volunteers, the event’s expenses are kept remarkably low, allowing the vast majority of money raised to go to service projects and programs.

The projects mentioned below were among those receiving funds from the 2009 and 2010 Rotary Auction and Rummage Sales.

• A $13,000 Bainbridge High School shop refit grant to purchase new equipment for high school shop classes.

• A $10,000 grant to Helpline House – matched by funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – for island programs to help prevent homelessness.

• College and vocational scholarships totaling more than $20,000 annually to Bainbridge Island high school graduates

• A $20,000 KiDiMu grant for an elevator in its new building.

• A grant to Bainbridge Island Sportsman’s Club to replace the front porch and make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

• A $4,175 Hope House grant for insulation and duct work to reduce energy costs at the residential facility for developmentally disabled adults.

• Annual support of BHS’ Rotary Youth Exchange program.

• A $7,500 matching grant toward construction of Phase II of the solar power project at Sakai School.

• An Island Music Center grant to replace old carpeting in the facility.

• A West Sound Wildlife Shelter matching grant for video monitoring equipment for the flight cage to monitor night-time activity.

• A $1,000 Woodward School grant for an expansion of the garden area south of the greenhouse.

• Literacy Council of Kitsap County received a $1,000 grant to purchase books supporting education for island adults, particularly those studying English as a Second Language.

• Bainbridge Island Grange received matching grants toward refurbishment of its building.

• Uganda water, health, and literacy projects: leveraged local funds to receive major grants, allowing the drilling of wells to serve more than 100 villages in rural Uganda.

• Contributions to Rotary International’s polio eradication program.

• Bainbridge Island Historical Museum’s grant to purchase computer hardware and software to digitize many of the museum’s holdings.

• Bainbridge Island Little League’s $7,500 grant toward a PA systems for the Strawberry Hill Park fields.

• Bainbridge Island Park District’s $50,000 grant toward for a mobile stage

• Smiles for Life receive grant $8,654 grant to purchase equipment at the B.I. Senior Center to provide affordable dental care for low-income seniors.

• Trust for Working Landscapes’ $5,218 grant toward a greenhouse on the Morales family farm, which will provide indoor growing space for plant propagation and a facility for educational purposes.

• A $2,362 trail improvement grant for improvements to the Suzuki Trail in the Sportsman Club-Commodore neighborhood.

• Student of the Month program at Bainbridge High School recognizing two students each month for outstanding achievement (with a $100 stipend)

• Boys & Girls State scholarship (Rotary makes contributions to the American Legion, which manages the program).

The coming year’s recipients haven’t been determined yet, but the list from past year’s contributions provides a good indication of the types of projects that your donations help support. Rotary extends its thanks to all of our donors and volunteers for making this work possible.

Please donate your items at Woodward School from June 25-29. Rotary Auction festivities begin with the preview from 3-7 p.m. Friday, July 1, followed by the 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Rummage Sale on Saturday, July 2.

For more information, check us out on Facebook (Bainbridge Rotary Auction) or visit

Charlie Averill is a longtime member of the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club.

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