Richmond Rotary Club launches online auction for fundraising

Fundraising amidst the global pandemic takes some creativity and more effort.

With gathering restrictions in place, traditional events like the annual Richmond Sunrise Rotary Auction and Gala, in support of local and international charitable organizations, cannot be held in 2020. 

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So instead of holding a gala, for the first time in 31 years, the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise decided to launch an online auction as a way to bridge the fundraising gap. 

"The impact of the COVID-19 on charitable organizations has been significant because our ability to raise funds in a way that we've done in the past were no longer able to do that," said Debbie Samsom, the president of the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise. 

"I want to encourage people to support organizations financially in whatever way they can. It's a tough time right now for fundraisers."

Their previous events could attract over 400 people to come, said Samsom. Last year's gala netted $80,000 to support various charities dedicated to making a difference in the world. They hope to continue this kind of initiative this year. 

A few projects could benefit through the donations, such as Feed-U-Cate 38, which aims to provide healthy food to children in Richmond who would otherwise go to school hungry, and Ghirra Toy Drive, which delivers toys at Christmas time to underprivileged families in the Richmond area. 

The auction will feature wine baskets, electronics, health and beauty products and more. The price ranges from a low of $20 to a street high of $1,000, and the bidding ends Oct. 23 at 9:00 p.m.
They have raised around $7,000 so far and appreciate online donations if some might not be interested in auction items but still hope to contribute. 

All items are available for pickup on Oct. 24 (Saturday) and Oct. 25 (Sunday) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Riverside Banquet Hall, 14500 River Road in Richmond. 

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