‘Magic’ Rotary Club event breaks records PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 11:41
Guests of the Perrysburg Rotary Club gather for the 29th Annual Charity Auction Saturday night. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - It's already a magical year for the Perrysburg Rotary Club.
The charitable organization nearly doubled its usual donation total at Saturday's 29th annual Charity Auction, themed "The Magic of Giving."
The event was held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons.
"It was a huge success, I can tell you," said Jeri Wendt who, with Wayne Koskinen, co-chaired the event. "The preliminary numbers, we raised about $120,000. In the past we've only raised about $75,000, I think that's the most we've ever done."
Wendt credits the massive outpouring of support to a little creative legerdemain on the part of the auction committee. She noted that, after nearly 30 years, the auction was beginning to show its age - it was time for something new. Thus, they decided to "try and change everything we possibly could. So we changed the menu, we changed the auctioneer, we changed the format, and changed the invitations."
"The club itself backed us," she continued. "They really got behind us and sold a lot of raffle tickets and people just bought that night."
"We're still in shock, I can tell you."
Not only were donation records broken, but so was attendance - more than 335 people came to the auction.
"That was more than normal. We'd only broken 300 once."
(From left) Dr. Wayne Koskerien, Dr. Mike Bower, Michelle Clossick, Jeri Wendt, and Kelly Croy attend the Rotary event
The proceeds from the charity will go towards a number of local causes - Rotary donated to more than 25 in 2011 and 2012. Half of the funds raised will benefit the Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation, which will distribute it "to all kinds of places in Perrysburg that we have worked for in the past."
After that, $20,000 will go to the Owens Community College Foundation to make the final installment on a $100,000 Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation Scholarship Endowment Fund. The fund will create scholarships for Penta students from Lake, Perrysburg and Rossford member districts.
"We had a five-year commitment to giving them a $100,000 scholarship, and this was the last year."
Finally, the remaining proceeds will be given to the Cocoon Shelter, which provides services for women and children traumatized by domestic violence. Specifically, the monies will benefit their Victim Support Fund, which helps to cover emergency needs for affected families.
The success of the auction was also costly for Koskinen - though on a more personal level.
"About halfway through, Wayne told the Rotary Club that, if we made $100,000, he'd shave his beard off," said Wendt. "And he's had a beard ever since college."
As a result of the auction's success, Wendt will be shaving Koskinen's beard at an upcoming Rotary Club meeting.

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