Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber auction raises nearly $15,000

SMOKEY POINT — The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce’s annual Black-and-White Gala dinner and auction raised close to $15,000, as an estimated 100 attendees dressed up for the event, which also honored Arlington Mayor Margaret Larson.

Although Larson herself was unable to attend the April 9 event, Chamber Executive Director Michael Prihoda played a video clip of the March 7 Arlington City Council meeting at which he announced that Larson would receive the Chamber’s 2010 Citizen of the Year Award.

Prihoda explained that the Chamber selected Larson for this honor to recognize her dedication to the citizens, businesses and service organizations of Arlington, “that makes Arlington a better community for everyone.” He noted that beyond her mayoral duties Larson has served as a Rotarian and a former Arlington School District employee, and has actively supported the development of the Arlington Centennial Trail and fundraising for the Linda M. Byrnes Performing Art Center.

Larson and Snohomish County Council member John Koster helped the fundraiser in absentia by donating meals with themselves for auction. Chamber Past President Julie Morse noted that this year’s take and attendance roughly equaled those of last year’s event.

“In this economy, I felt good that we could do that well,” Morse said. “Every item that was up for auction got sold, which doesn’t always happen, and Dr. Ron Huitger bought one item at the silent auction that he put in for the live auction, which has never happened before. He kept on upping his bid too,” she laughed.

The scholarship funds for the Arlington and Lakewood high schools received $2,850 from the live auction. Morse was quick to credit Comcast with providing the dinner’s champagne and downtown Arlington’s Flowers By George with furnishing all the tables with floral centerpieces.

“It’s a wonderfully fun event to produce,” Morse said. “What we always hear from people is that they had a good time.”

Morse added that proceeds from the auction also go toward Arlington’s Fourth of July parade and fireworks, as well as other community activities.

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