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Sunrise Rotarians report stellar year

Madera’s Sunrise Rotarians report another stellar year of fund-raising for local charities through their annual Trees for Charity event.


The “Trees,” as it is known to some is the last big social event of the season and includes a dinner, silent auction and live auction of 17 trees decorated by volunteers from the various charities the sales of the trees helps support.


This year the auction raised $27,022. 


The Rotarians go to a lot of trouble to put on a great event. besides decorating Hatfield Hall, which takes many hours, Rotarians cook and serve the meals, tend bar, sell tickets and deliver the trees to the locations requested by those who purchase the trees.


Not all the trees go for the same amount. This year’s highest-fetching tree was that of the Camarena Health Center, which brought a total of $4,300. Of that amount, $3,800 came from a consortium, and $500 came from a “donated back” auction.


The consortiums are put together by members of the charities who want to be sure their charities’ trees fetch good prices. People pledge money, which in turn is used to bid on the tree, attracting bids from big spenders in the audience who also want to help certain charities. Most of the time, these consortiums, once they buy a tree, donate it back for subsequent auction, usually to someone who wants to take the tree home.


The trees are permanent. If you buy one and take it home, it’s yours for as long as you want to keep it. Rotary volunteers will drop it off at your house or business. When the Christmas season is over, you can cover the tree and store it until next year. It’s a good investment for those who may have had enough of decorating a tree every year, and just want to enjoy one that’s already nicely decorated.


The consortiums this year donated $14,772, and that was followed by $12,250 from auctions.


As Rotarian Bob Bitter reports in the Sunrise Rotary newsletter for which he is responsible, a good time was had by all.


Top ticket salesman, Bitter reported, was Rotarian Nathan Soriano, who sold 115 tickets at $50 apiece. All to help local charities. Way to go, Nathan.