The Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation’s annual Holiday Fantasy auction is now live, giving you the chance to bid on everything from sub-Sarahan safaris to signed Seahawks memorabilia while supporting your local community.
The online auction — which started today (Dec. 1) — will be open to bidding until Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.; you can register to bid at any time from the RFWF website at www.rfwellnessfoundation.org/special-events/holiday-fantasy-2/.
The purpose of the auction, as well as the corresponding dinner at the Thunder Dome Car Museum in Enumclaw on Dec. 3, is to raise money to support RFWF’s various community programs. This includes the Care Van, which transports local residents to their health-related, non-emergency appointments; the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program, which delivers hot meals to Plateau seniors, fills backpacks with food for local students, and funds the weekly Full Bellies soup kitchen program; and in-school mental health counseling.
According to Sara Stratton, executive director of the local nonprofit, RFWF’s goal is to raise $162,000 — roughly 30 percent of its annual operating revenue.
In years past, the auction was live at the annual dinner. But like everything else in the last two years, the pandemic forced RFWF to shift gears and hold its first-ever online auction during the 2020 event.
Stratton said the nonprofit decided to continue holding the majority of the auction online in order to accomodate people that are still uncomfortable meeting in-person, as well as give people not attending the dinner an opportunity to support RFWF’s programs.
“We wanted to ensure everyone who wants to support the programs and the people we serve is able to participate in some way,” she said. “Also, over 40 percent of supporters of last year’s virtual event were brand new to Rainier Foothills. An online auction allows many more people to participate and increases community awareness of the need in our community as well as the solutions and services we offer.”
There are more than 130 items are up for bid during the online auction (as well as about 15 live-auction items during the dinner), which include “several really great vacations and getaways” like a one-week stay at a “gorgeous” estate in Manzanillo, Mexico, for up to 12 guests; two African safaris (one being a hunting experience, the other photography-focused); and a week at Whistler, Stratton continued.
“Aside from trips, we have unique experiences such as a sunrise hot air balloon package and two separate vintage airplane flights,” she added. “For sports fans, we have Kraken tickets, some rare signed Seahawks memorabilia as well as a golf package including three great putters and a round of golf for three at Meridian Valley that includes a private golf pro to round out the foursome. And the most beautiful gift baskets! Local businesses and loyal supporters have donated truly exquisite gift baskets.”
Unfortunately, if you haven’t already bought tickets to the Holiday Fantasy dinner, you’re probably out of luck. That said, RFWF is keeping a waitlist should any seats become available; tickets are $95.
Dinner this year is being hosted at the Enumclaw Thunder Dome, as opposed to Emerald Downs in Auburn, where the dinner has traditionally been held in the past.
“After a year off from an in-person gathering, we thought this was a good time to bring the event local and support businesses right here in the communities we serve,” Stratton said. “The Thunder Dome is a gorgeous venue and we’ve gotten very positive feedback from attendees who appreciate not having to leave town.”
The meal this year is being catered by Mama Stortini’s, and includes complimentary table wine, champagne, and appetizers.
Additionally, Kathy Conzelman of Simply KMC Photos will be taking holiday photos of guests, and there will be live music through the cocktail hour.
“It is going to be a wonderful evening,” Stratton said.
Sponsors for this year’s event include the Parker Helac Corporation, Caliber Home Loans, Edward Jones, Fife RV Center, Aspire Physical Therapy, Watterson Excavating, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Stafford Excavating, Dr. Tanya Wilke, Lightning Clean Car Wash, Gamblin Motors, NW Pharmacy Services, NW Kidney Centers, Columbia Bank (Enumclaw branch), the Courier-Herald, Molen Orthodontics, Northwest Pharmacy Services, COmmencement Bank, Enumclaw Lion’s Club, Person Real Estate, James Oil Company, and others.
For more information about the dinner, head to www.rfwellnessfoundation.org.