A bid for Rotary ideals
Feb 07, 2013 | 474 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A popular news feature that appears weekly on the front page of our newspaper is called “Hidden Cleveland,” and its purpose is to tell the stories from multiple corners of our hometown community whose impacts are, at the very least, underexposed to the average eye.

One collective example is the strong network of civic organizations that comprise the “people side” of Cleveland and Bradley County.

In truth, most are familiar with the civic clubs themselves, but not necessarily with the good work and community contributions that each provides — not only in our area and throughout Southeast Tennessee, but across the state, the nation and in some cases globally.

Just a few prominent names, but by all means not the entire group, are Cleveland Rotary, Cleveland Kiwanis, Bradley Sunrise Rotary, Cleveland Civitan, Cleveland Optimists, Cleveland Sertoma, Cleveland Lions and many others. Their names are important, but their work is critical.

Their causes are multiple: Youth, vision, clean water, disease eradication, education, the environment, literacy, health, poverty, housing and many others. The list is as long as the slate of community and global needs that rely on their support.

To accomplish these miracles of mankind, the organizations must partner with their communities through fundraisers, activities and social interaction.

One is upcoming and its proceeds will be critical to helping to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations that operate locally. We speak of the annual charity auction sponsored by the Cleveland Rotary Club at the Museum Center at Five Points on Friday, Feb. 15.

Its purpose is a simple one. Proceeds from the silent and open auctions, both of which are open to the public, will provide funding for selected causes. For example, in 2012 the Rotarian auction aided the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, The Caring Place, the Hiwassee Heritage Center, Trousdale School, Bradley County Adult Education and others.

Those planning to attend will have the opportunity to bid on some outstanding gifts and trips. Just of few include tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament in April, an all-expense-paid trip to Cambodia (which is home to Cleveland’s Sister City), a week’s vacation at Sea Island, Ga., a week’s vacation to Daytona Beach, Fla., emeralds and other jewelry, and dozens of other prizes and awards. These alone are enough to pump the juices of fundraising bidder wars among attendees, but it’s just a sampling. We are told more than 100 quality items will be available for bidding. Price range is expected to be from a few dollars to a few hundred, and maybe more depending on the frenzy of the crowd.

The evening won’t be just about the auctions and the bidding. Guests will join club members in savoring a Valentine’s dinner and live music.

Over the years, silent and live auctions have become popular within the community on many fronts. One, they are fun. Two, they are entertaining because most are accompanied by talented musicians. Three, they are filling thanks to professional caterers whether it is for a sit-down meal or heavy hors d’oeuvres. Four, the items up for bid are diverse and generally will appeal to virtually all interests in the crowd. And five, they benefit projects that are most in need.

For those interested in buying tickets to next week’s Rotarian shindig, or who simply want additional information, contact Carmin Chastain at 303-1516 (work) or 716-8713 (cellphone).

It promises to be a great time and its proceeds will benefit even greater causes.