Holiday gala raised more than $132,000

The annual Holiday Fantasy gala was once again a smashing success, as corporate sponsors and 300-plus attendees accounted for more than $132,000 in donations to the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation.

The annual Holiday Fantasy gala was once again a smashing success, as corporate sponsors and 300-plus attendees accounted for more than $132,000 in donations to the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation.

The event is put together in early December every year and serves as the Foundation’s primary source of income. This year’s gala, staged Dec. 4 at Emerald Downs, was the 25th annual affair.

Aside from the silent and live auctions, a highlight of each year’s Holiday Fantasy is the Fund An Item event, which allows companies and individuals to put money toward one of the Foundation’s worthy causes.

This year’s Fund An Item beneficiary is a replacement Care Van, which will benefit those in need throughout Enumclaw, Buckley, Carbonado, Wilkeson and Black Diamond. The van is a much-needed resource for those requiring health-related transportation, like trips to see a doctor, pick up a prescription or visit a therapist.

Rene Popke, the Foundation’s executive director since 2011, said the Care Van provides approximately 250 rides per month, operating Monday through Friday.

A week after Holiday Fantasy, the Foundation’s board of directors placed an order for a new van. The price tag, Popke said, is about $65,000 for a van equipped with a hydraulic lift and the capability to hold two wheelchairs and an additional nine passengers.

The van received a healthy boost from the local Rotary Club, the Enumclaw Foundation and Mutual of Enumclaw; each of those entities contributed $10,000. The rest of the money came from dozens of contributions at Holiday Fantasy ranging from $5,000 to $50.

“Our mission is to create a healthier community,” Popke said, noting that the Foundation is active with endeavors like Full Bellies, which provides a weekly meal to those in need; a hot meal program that delivers food to home-bound senior citizens; and a program that provides backpacks of food to school-age children every Friday.

Aside from raising money, this year’s Holiday Fantasy event also served to recognize those who have been around from the beginning. Singled out were community-minded citizens Margaret Rector, Jim and Betty Puttman, Judi Puttman, Sherry Lorde Smith, Doug Egan, Bette Zech, Sofia Bode, Una Waldron and Kim Rector. Also recognized were Vikki Gramann and Nancy Merrill, who were part of the first event.


More in News

Modern lights aim to tame 410 traffic

Rush hour traffic between Enumclaw and Buckley is a drag. But a DOT project to modernize Buckley’s traffic lights could make smooth sailing of future trips.

Briley Conant, second from the left, and Zach Pederson, far right, ask other Sumner high schoolers to link arms in a show of unity and support for each other and other students around the nation. Photo by Ray Still
Unity, ‘radical civility’ preached at walkout

Sumner High School joined thousands of other students in a nation-wide walkout last week.

Two free park days in April | Washington State Parks Commission

For April 14 and April 22, you won’t need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

Buckley double homicide suspect charged

Jared P. T. Standley, 21, was charged with killing his parents in Buckley last week.

Rock Haven, located in front of Bonney Lake’s Pet Pros, is a great place in the city to find rocks to paint or leave rocks for others to find. Photo by Ray Still
Changing lives, one painted rock at a time

Bonney Lake Rocks! is one of many local Kindness Rock Project chapters looking to make positive impacts.

Auditor calls for independent election observers | Pierce County

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson is looking to expand the election observer program.

Podcast, scholarship created in memory of two sons

The Babst Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Garrett and J.T. Babst, will go to an Auburn Mountainview High School student to support their decision to go into trade school.

County planning to finish Enumclaw trail, build bridge over White River

$2.8 million was allotted in the state legislature’s capital budget this year to jumpstart the project, which is expected to be compete between 2020 and 2021.

Most Read