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Chamber Gala grosses more than $12,000 | SLIDESHOW
SMOKEY POINT — The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Black & White Gala grossed more than $12,000 at the Medallion Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 21, thanks to its 44 attendees and host of sponsors and donors of silent and live auction items.
“All those auction items were great,” Chamber Managing Director Mary Jane Harmon said. “Almost all of them got more than the minimum in bids, and we have some lovely trip packages that were provided, including seven days in Puerto Vallarta and a two-night weekend stay in Ocean Beach, the latter of which was really fought over last year.”
Harmon credited Chamber Vice President Julie Morse with securing an even higher quality of champagne for this year’s champagne reception prior to the evening’s dinner, and reported that returning auctioneer Kelly Lee was as huge of a hit with the crowd as ever.
“He was very funny,” Harmon said. “He even led the bidders through a few games, like ‘Heads and Tails,’ that we hadn’t done at last year’s gala.”
The raffle saw James Eubanks win the 16 GB iPad 2 WiFi Tablet, while Kristen and Erik Granroth won an overnight stay at the Tulalip Resort Hotel and Casino, complete with $40 in food vouchers.
Harmon was also effusive in her praise for Arlington country musician Jesse Taylor, who grabbed his guitar to perform for the room, and even provided his first album as an auction item.
“We sold a ton of those CDs,” Harmon said. “At least half the people there bought his album, which is great for the Chamber, because Jesse is donating $5 of every CD sold that night back to the Chamber. He’s a wonderful singer and a wonderful young man who agreed to discount 80 percent of his normal appearance fee, and he had a ton of groupies in the back when he was trying to leave,” she laughed.
Looking ahead to next year, Harmon promised that the 11th annual Chamber gala would be an entirely new event, possibly even at a new venue.
“It will not necessarily even be an auction,” Harmon said. “I can’t say exactly what it will be yet, but we’re looking at providing an evening of interactive entertainment.”
Harmon encouraged people to check out the Chamber’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ASPchamber for photos of the event, which she expects to have all posted by Friday, Sept. 27.