Annual auction raises funds for Old Hotel

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OTHELLO — The Old Hotel Art Gallery held its annual auction fundraiser Saturday at the RDO Equipment offices in Othello, bringing together hundreds of community members dressed in ’50s-style costume to support the town’s heritage site.

The fundraiser, which auctioned off dozens of donated items, raised $23,848, the highest amount in several years, said art gallery director Jenn Stevenson. The Old Hotel’s annual auction raises funds for the non-profit to maintain and expand its services and facilities, auctioning off big-ticket items donated by members of the community during a night of fun, food and costumes.

The theme for this year’s event was “Fabulous ’50s,” and attendees dressed to the nines in costumed ranging from poodle skirts and beehive hairdos to leather jackets and greased-back hair.

Among the prizes auctioned off was a package getaway to Suncadia, a two-night stay in the Methow Valley and a Washington State University-themed basket with a bottle of the university’s famous wine, a mascot-decorated lap-blanket and basketball game day tickets. Other items up for auction included tickets to Idaho’s Silverwood Theme Park, a 20-inch John Deere bike, a barbecue dinner and more.

One of the most successful fundraising events of the night didn’t include any prize or items of value, but rather attendees donated thousands of dollars so the auctioneer would refrain from revealing details of the evening’s Washington State University football game, Stevenson said.

“They didn’t want the game ruined for them,” Stevenson said with a laugh.

In addition, items that people won via auction were also often donated back to the art gallery to be auctioned off again, some being auctioned off as many as three times, Stevenson continued.

Funds from the auction help the Old Hotel accomplish the four goals of its mission statement, said Jenn Stevenson, including supporting arts and arts education, preserving historical structures, boosting tourism to the region and promoting cooperation between the state’s heritage organizations.

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