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Charity auction raises $8,000

Angele Cano
Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 5, 2011


With help from the Lions Club, the Rotary auction returned on Nov. 26 after a two-year hiatus. Jointly named the Lions Club Rotary Auction, the event raised approximately $8,000 which will be used to support a summer camp, literacy projects and the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

From artwork to wilderness gear, power tools to games and electronics, the pair of organizations was given piles of goods from local businesses in order to fundraise for their causes. For the Rotary Club, its half of the funds will go toward creating literary projects for school-aged readers from Hay River to Kakisa, K'atlodeeche First Nation and Fort Resolution.

"Each year we give books for summer reading programs for younger kids," said Rotary Club president Tom Lakusta. "Then for grades 6 to 12 we run a dragon's Den project - kids need to come up with their own business plan and have a public debate."

The proceeds from the auction will be divided equally between each group and the Lion's share will go to its programs for the blind, in association with the CNIB, and to participants of the HeHoHa (Help, Hope and Happiness) summer camp.

"This camp is a place where children with disabilities can go and forget about their disability," said Hay River Lions Club president Melvin Larocque. "They go rock climbing, they do water sports, all types of things."

Aside from the annual auction, Larocque said one of the club's major fundraisers is radio bingo, but it's relatively hands off.

"It's nice to do fundraising like this," said Larocque. "It's nice to see people and tell them what we do."

Hay River North MLA Robert Bouchard served as this year's auctioneer, donning a wide-brimmed cowboy hat to hawk goods and drive prices for the annual fundraiser.

The auction used to be run by the Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club until Kiwanis folded.

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