Rotary auction brings in more than $8,000

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Santa Claus himself is a door greeter, you know your event is bound for big things.

Even if it’s just Realtor Billy Chorey dressed as Santa, it’s still Santa.

The Suffolk Rotary Club held its annual Christmas Auction Thursday and raised more than $8,000, which will go the club’s Charity Fund to be dispersed to local organizations such as the Cheer Fund, the Western Tidewater Free Clinic and the Salvation Army.

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“We do this for the 33 different agencies and scholarships we helped last year,” said club president Everett Birdsong before the auction began. “We do this to Make Dreams Real (a reference to this year’s theme for Rotary International)…so open your hearts and open your wallets for these good causes.”

John Harrell served as the auctioneer/master of ceremony for the afternoon, and was sure to keep bids going as well as the jokes on some of the club’s members.

When halfway through the auction Harrell saw that George Birdsong had yet to purchase an item, he suspended the auction to admonish Birdsong for being the “tightest benevolent man in Suffolk.”

Before long, Birdsong had a couple items to take home.

Items varied from Rotary ties and gift certificates to flatscreen televisions and portable DVD players – all of which were donated by the members themselves.

“The members bring in just about everything,” said Susan Blair, the auction committee chairperson. “I think this is a highlight of the year for the Rotary Club … Rotary is all about giving back to the community, and this is a way we get to do that.”

Rotary International was founded back in 1905 and today is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders in 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries across the globe. Here in Suffolk, there are two Rotary Clubs: the Suffolk club that meets at the Elks Lodge in downtown Suffolk and the North Suffolk club that meets at Cedar Point Country Club.

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