Monday, May 12, 2008
NFCoC Annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser
Auctioneer Tom Wheeler in action
On April 19th 2008, the doors opened at the North Fork Town Hall promptly at 5:30 pm. Over 100 eager and hungry people, with $18 advance tickets in their hands, poured through the doors to experience the North Fork Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner & Auction. This fun and elegant event is the chamber’s largest fundraiser of the entire year. Practically all of the proceeds are used in support of the chamber’s town restoration program.
Evidence of the chamber’s contribution to town restoration can be seen throughout the community, sidewalks in the main commercial district, public trash receptacles, street lighting, and a newly upgraded information bulletin board located at the Crazy Y garden. New cement sidewalk approaches to the Information Bulletin Board and a lighting system were completed thanks to a generous donation from Frank Wyle, and the volunteer services of Hansel Kern, Zak Zakovski and several local youths. Frank Carpenter, owner of Carpenter Electric Co., offered his talents to install a lighting system that will make the information board visible at night.
Further enhancements are planned for the Main Street corridor and include signage for local services and attractions, and visitor Kiosks on the highway arteries to and from North Fork.
The Town Hall was decorated elegantly for a classy sit down dinner of superb prime rib, chicken, or a delicious vegetarian dish with all of the trimmings catered by Curtis Kirk of the Buckhorn Saloon. The efficient young servers were from the Destination Imagination students of Yosemite High School. Attractive candle & flower centerpieces adorned the dinner tables.
Dinner table service provided by YHS Destination Imagination
The dinner/auction attendees were served with garden salad, the main dish of their choice and delicious chocolate cake desserts in less than 30 minutes. Liquid refreshments were available, provided by the North Fork Squirrel Cage Theatre bar crew. Dinner music played by the Gene Larry Band added to the elegant ambiance of the evening.
From all accounts, the dinner by itself was a spectacular success, everyone commented about the delicious food, what a wonderful time they had visiting with all their friends, and not one person went home hungry.
Guests explore the silent auction table
Marigolds for silent auction
During dinner, attendees were browsing the silent auction tables anxiously writing their bids down for the various valuable gift certificates contributed by local mountain area shops, services, hotels & restaurants. A sampling of these includes Sierra Video, Raley's Supermarket, Sierra Lanes, Crab Cakes, Mountain House, and several service oriented gift certificates from local handymen, plumbers, locksmiths, and beauty salons. Other attractive items included hand painted art, gift baskets of bath & body products, model cars, bottles of wine, two cases of motor oil, sweatshirts & hats, and our now traditional flat of flowers from Western Sierra Nursery, marigolds this year instead of pansies. There were several $100 savings bonds donated by the local banks including Yosemite Bank, United Security Bank and Central Valley Community Bank. Bidding became very aggressive as Steve Cook, chamber president and the emcee for the event, announced that the bid cut off time was soon approaching.
Gift Baskets, Ceramic Pig and other Live Auction items
Live auction items were displayed prominently at the front of the stage for preview, and included a four day cruise to Baja from Cruise Adventures, three cases of CFL light fixtures and bulbs donated by North Fork Hardware, a beautiful handmade quilt by Muriel Lavelle, two original watercolor paintings by Phyllis Overstreet, a beautiful gift basket from Hair Care Plus, a River Creek golf membership from The Buckhorn Saloon, and of course the traditional ceramic pig crafted by local artisan Chris Stanley. The Pines Chalet and the Shilo Inn each donated a one night stay. Two night stays were donated by Lyn Mar Pond Guest Ranch and the North Fork Rancheria (for Sunset Station).
Tom Wheeler was again our fabulous and entertaining auctioneer as he helped make this 2008 auction a successful fundraiser for the chamber. His assistant, Steve Cook, gave us his version of Vanna White, which helped raise over $4000 by encouraging generous and active bids.
Many behind the scenes individuals help organize and put on an event of this magnitude. Thanks go out to everyone on the dinner/auction committee, including all of the chamber board directors and officers, for their contribution of contacting donors, collecting donations, organizing paperwork to manage the auctions, selling tickets and Town Hall set up and cleanup on the event day itself. Thanks also go out to all of our generous donors. Over 100 items were donated from North Fork, Bass Lake, Coarsegold, Oakhurst and Fresno businesses, as well as individuals throughout the community. All in all a fabulous evening of entertainment and dining pleasure.
© Copyright 2008 North Fork News