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Unexpected donation puts a shine on this year’s big Rotary auction

Graham Gawlik, Aubrey Kollodge, Jared Russell, Kylie Van Aken and truck owner  Bryce MacDonald shine up the truck that will be redonated to the auction this year. Gawlik is volunteering to oversee the detailing of donated vehicles to the auction. - Photo courtesy of Bainbridge Island Rotary
Graham Gawlik, Aubrey Kollodge, Jared Russell, Kylie Van Aken and truck owner Bryce MacDonald shine up the truck that will be redonated to the auction this year. Gawlik is volunteering to oversee the detailing of donated vehicles to the auction.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Bainbridge Island Rotary

One year ago, Kelly MacDonald bought a truck for her son — a classic 1979 Ford F150.

It was a great first car, and an all-around fun ride for the teenager. The neighbors even envied it.

“It’s a very cool truck,” MacDonald said.

It’s so cool that MacDonald wants to get rid of it.

The truck itself is in excellent working condition. It was purchased at last year’s Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction, and for a pretty sweet price. Over the year the MacDonald’s used the truck to help with the construction of their home.

Now, they have little use for it, but want it to still do some good.

This year the MacDonald’s want to continue supporting the Rotary by donating it once more to help raise money for the island club.

This year’s auction will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 30.

The family could have sold it, they even had offers from a neighbor who admired the truck over the past year. But they felt it could do more good at the auction.

“We could sell it — our neighbor wanted to buy it — but I just think that all the work Rotary does for Bainbridge Island is so nice,” MacDonald said. “We felt the better community thing to do would be to give it to the Rotary.”

Each year the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club hold its auction at Woodward Middle School. This year will be the 52nd one in the club’s history.

The extensive rummage sale raises money for the Rotary’s work and community service.

The auction is so successful that per capita, the Rotary raises more money than any other club in the country, according to Jim Chapel, a past Rotary president and an active island Rotarian.

It is the only fundraising event the Rotary holds. Last year, the auction raised more than $350,000.

Don’t boil this auction down to a nice afternoon rummaging through junk. The auction is so intense it requires a starting line. And when the auction opens, hordes of people frantically fan out through the middle school.

It’s half garage sale, and half scrum.

“The rotary auction is one of the biggest garage sales and auctions west of the Mississippi,” Chapel said. “(It’s) one of the largest social events on the island.”

Items range from furniture to electronics to vehicles such as the truck that the MacDonald’s are cycling back into the cause.

The Rotary will be accepting donations for the auction June 22-27, and currently seeks volunteers to help organize it. Donations can be made at the club’s facility at 9100 Sportsman Club Road. Islanders can also call 206-842-9111 for more information.

Those who can’t wait can pay $1 to get a sneak peak the night before the auction to see what’s up for grabs this year.

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