By Aaron Newton
Polk County Itemizer-Observer
MONMOUTH — The 13th annual Smith Fine Arts Series picnic and auction is grooving its way to the Western Oregon University campus Sunday.
The “Summer of Love”-themed event is the prime fundraiser for the annual performance and music series at Western starting in October.
Last year’s auction raised almost $30,000, and hopes are proceeds could be even more this year.
“We have a lot of good sponsors this year, which is really helping,” Smith Fine Arts Manager Sandy Newland said. “It’s grown a lot over the last few years. We’ve already surpassed the amount of items brought in from last year.”
The fundraiser gets under way Sunday at 4:30 p.m. with a silent auction. Items up for bid include a pellet barbecue grill, treadmill, multiple works of art, wine and much more.
The auction will run until dinner, provided by North Dallas Bar and Grill, begins at 6 p.m.
Through the silent auction and portions of dinner, attendants will be treated to the music of JT & the Tourists.
The oral auction, called by veteran auctioneer Paul Schultz, starts after dinner. Items up for bid include several dinners at area restaurants, a two-night stay at a cabin at Sunriver Resort, a processed lamb from former State Rep. John Schoon and more.
“We’ve right at 200 people signed up to attend so far. Last year we only had 209,” Newland said. “We’re doing really good, it should be a good one.”
Tickets are $30 each or $200 for a table of eight, and can be purchased up to the day of the event.
In lieu of an actual raffle ticket, attendants will get a toy Volkswagen bus or beetle for the raffle drawing.
“Last year we had Mardi Gras masks for raffle tickets,” Newland said. “This year we have little VW bugs and buses. They’re real cute.”
Though there will not be a designated dance area, attendants shouldn’t be shy about dancing where they please, Newland said.
The picnic and auction is carrying on the 1960’s theme from the last performance of the 2012-13 SFAS season, a tribute to 50s and 60s soul.
“It’s going to be lots of fun, good wine and food,” Newland said. “We’re going to try a dessert dash this year also, during the oral auction. We’ll have four to six specialty desserts that we’ll auction off.”
What: 13th annual Smith Fine Arts Series Mid-Summer Picnic & Auction.
When: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Gentle House at Western Oregon University, 855 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth.
Tickets: $30 each or $200 for a table of eight.
For more information and tickets: 503-838-8333, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; email to email@example.com; wou.edu/sfa.