Women’s Club hosts luncheon, auction to aid local charities

March 5, 2013

By Sarah Radmer

Last year, the Issaquah Women’s Club raised more than $12,000 during its spring luncheon. It donated the money to scholarships and charities throughout the community.

“We were thrilled,” fundraising coordinator Deborah Bader said.

On April 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn, the club will host the luncheon again for the second year in a row.

File Issaquah Women’s Club members make bids on raffle baskets during a previous year’s fundraising event.

Issaquah Women’s Club members make bids on raffle baskets during a previous year’s fundraising event.

The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., combines a luncheon, and live and silent auctions. A total of 180 tickets are available for $35 each. Bader hopes to draw people from outside the club to support the community.

The luncheon will serve a “chop chop” salad, fresh rolls, desserts and drinks, catered by the hotel.

The auctions will feature more than 100 items, including donations from local businesses and themed gift baskets compiled by club members, according to Valerie Armitage, a member of the fundraising team.

Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler will emcee the auction again, Bader said.

“He’s funny and engaging and energetic,” Bader said. “We’re all convinced he makes a big difference in getting more money.”

Many merchants from Issaquah and beyond donate each year, Armitage said. Some notable donors include the Woodland Park Zoo, the Museum of Flight, Boehm’s Candy and Costco.

Armitage often drives around to pick up donations, but many repeat donors send theirs in the mail. Bader recently received a donation from Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in in Issaquah. Along with his donation, owner José Enciso included a note that said, “Thank you for asking us to donate.”

“That is the spirit of the kind of support and cooperation that the merchants and the people of this community have had over the years,” Bader said.

That kind of note is customary in all of Enciso’s donations to local charities. He said he is thankful to be chosen to help, especially in a community that he said has done so much for him.

“The community … helped us in the beginning and put us where we are now,” he said. “It’s a great feeling for people to feel that they can come to us to help out.”

All proceeds from the auction and any leftover ticket income will go into the club’s pool of donations. At the end of the year, board members will make charity recommendations and the group will vote to decide where the funds go.

The proceeds from last year’s event went to a variety of charitable causes, including the group’s “Follow Your Dream” scholarship for girls in their senior year of high school, a scholarship for domestic-violence victims going back to school, scholarships for low-income children to attend summer camps, and various charities.

“If we didn’t do these events, we wouldn’t be able to meet our goals and support our community,” Bader said.

Armitage, who joined the club when she retired so she could become more involved, said the spring event has had a positive response.

“We’re fortunate enough to have local people who’ve come and said it’s wonderful,” she said.

Aside from this big spring fundraiser, the nearly 100 members of the club also do volunteer work and support charity efforts throughout the year. Bader, who has been a member since 2005, said the members of the group energize and inspire her.

“It’s given me a way to give back to my community and the people in it,” she said. “Especially the people who are not blessed in the same way as I am. It fills my heart, fills my spirit.”


Sarah Radmer is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.


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