Blue and White Dinner/Auction A Huge Success

It has been a month since the Western Rugby Alumni “Blue and White Dinner Auction” took place on the campus of Bellingham Technical College at Settlemyer Hall, May 17, 2014.  This year’s event featured an Italian themed buffet dinner, a wine bar, and beer which was provided by Boundary Bay, and of course, a huge array of items in the Live and Silent Auctions.

It was an incredible evening that was better attended than last year and with the Auction Committee’s dedicated work, especially that of event Chairman Jeff Lombard and the Silent Auction team of Kay Kennedy and her dedicated minion, husband Ned Kennedy, the event was a huge financial success for the Western Rugby Alumni as they were able to add close to $35,000 to their bank account.

Jeff spent a great deal of time lining up sponsors and donors and his efforts contributed, in a large part, to the success of the event.

Kay and Ned Kennedy undertook the huge task of cataloguing all the auction items and then preparing the Silent auction tables and displays…an incredible amount of time and effort was given by those two.

Of course the contributions of time and effort by the other members of the committee including Paul and Robin Horne, Bev Preston, Alan Law, Christine Gary, Jon Sitkin, Micah Bartlett, Matt Jensen, and Louie Henson were greatly appreciated.

And we can’t forget the contributions of time and talent by the WWU Men’s Rugby Club, led by Club President Nick Solimano and Team Captain Louis Henson, who, along with the rest of the team, manned the various volunteer stations around Settlemyer Hall and helped out wherever needed.  There was also the group of volunteers manning the front tables keeping everything in order from guest registration to checkout.  Thank you all for your tremendous efforts.

Underwriting the event with a $5,000 donation were Preston and Jackie Worth and Bob and Karen Duffy with a $1,000 donation.  Other significant contributors were Ron and Mary Lee, Mike Girton and Darlene Vyzis, and Dick and Carolee Smith.

The Silent Auction was a great success again this year with a multitude of items up for bid.  Included in that array were an incredible assortment of gardening tools, donated by Gene and Dawn O’Neil, various assortments of wine, including a great assortment from Ellen and Mark Romano’s cellar in Santa Rosa.  Ed Peterson donated a bottle of Cabernet, rated 98 points by Wine Spectator, which was snapped up quickly for over $200, and Elizabeth Gould and Peter Zikaa donated dinner for two at Restaurant Zoe in Seattle.  There was a ½ of beef donated by John Sitkin, a kayak, a cord of wood donated by Dave Hershey, Mariner baseball tickets, Seahawk tickets, rounds of golf, two dozen golf balls embossed with “Western Washington Rugby”, and a ton of other stuff.

The live auction, again MC’d by the incomparable Auctioneer, Paul Horne, featured an incredible array of items.   Dinner for two at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island (three Alumni members have made the trip over there in the past year and say that the dinners they had were the best ever), two round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines to anywhere they fly, a round of golf and a night’s stay at the Semiahmoo Resort, a week end stay at a condo in Leavenworth for the Christmas Lighting, a week’s stay at a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on the shore at Manzanita Beach, Oregon, and a fishing trip to Tanaka Lodge in Alaska were among some of the items offered.

Perhaps the most hotly contested item in the Live Auction were the four Seahawk tickets on the 40 yard line for the regular season game against the Denver Broncos that were donated by Ron and Mary Lee.

Mike Girton finally prevailed and got those tickets for $1,800.  Also generating a ton of bidding interest, the Willow Inn dinner, the Southwest Airlines tickets, the house on Manzanita Beach, and the Alaskan Fishing Trip

We would like to thank all of the Western Rugby Alumni, parents, and friends that came and supported the event.  People like long time supporters Jackie Muir and Dr. Gordon MacEwan, Pat Gallagher, Doug and Bev Preston, Wayne Means, Murray Brackett, Matt North, Matt Colleen, Alex Knapp, Robert Boenish, Matt Tiscornia, Todd Vasey, Mark and Charlene Wallace, Barry and Shirley Potter, Craig Brown, Dan and Jane Barclay, Rob and Cindy Walker, Tim Swedelius, Walt Van Halst, Mike and Reesa Compton, Marc Staiger, Peter Gallagher, Jeff Hanna, and Darin Hamm.

I know that I’ve left a ton of people off this list and I apologize for that but my notes on the event are a bit muddled and I’ll try and do better next year.

On behalf of the Western Rugby Alumni I would sincerely like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the success of this great event.  Your efforts will help us in our goal to provide the assets needed to ensure the success of the WWU Men’s Rugby Club both in the classroom and on the field.

See you at next year’s event!