Gateway: News

ExtraOARdinary fundraising dinner brings dream of arts center closer

The Gig Harbor Yacht Club was a crowded sea of tables Saturday night.

Nicely dressed ladies and gentlemen enjoyed an exhilarating evening in support of the Gig Harbor Area Arts Center Alliance’s first annual Evening of ExtraOARdinary Delights Dinner & Auction. It was pronounced by all a rousing success.

Background music by the Signature Brass Quintet set the theme: “Let’s enjoy!” Dinner, prepared and served by Peninsula High’s Catering Club, offered a choice of Salmon or Vegetarian pasta. The salmon was “just right,” said those who chose it.

Jonathan Bill, president of the Arts Center Alliance, which is planning a regional arts center on the peninsula, served as master of ceremonies for the event.

“We hope this will be a one-time event,” he said. “Once we reach the money needed for the economic feasibility study, we expect not to have to raise money this way again.”

Tables filled with silent auction items were burgeoning with goodies for eager bidders. But the high point of the event was found in the tenacious, always delightfully humorous live auction techniques of master auctioneer Jim Borgen, supported by Tom Reardon and his daughter, Meghan Eakins, who moved about the scene holding each of the extraOARdinary oars overhead to entice bidders.

They were successful. The oars, decorated by local artists, were each “one of a kind” and appreciated by bidders as such.

Results were not immediately available at press time, but are believed to have been very good. The event was attended by “a surprisingly larger audience than we’d even hoped for,” Bill said. “I think we made our goal.”