YOUTH ACTION — Watching the sure joy of boy riding a ‘wild mutton” across the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo arena is reason enough for fairgoers to support the annual Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Foundation Dinner-Auction each November. This year’s event raised nearly $50,000, according to local organizers.

GRANDVIEW — The mood was bright and chatty, and attendees’ bellies were filled with locally produced wines, beer and savory Country Gentleman sautéed pork and comfort food sides. The donor items, ranging from propane gas, gravel, decorated church pew, dinners, Pendleton blanket, quilts and much more, were abundant and ample.

Conditions were optimal to achieve a new fundraising level at the 12th Annual Foundation for the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo dinner and auction held Friday, Nov. 15, in Grandview’s REALE Hall.

The 276-person sell-out crowd did not disappoint the foundation organizer’s hopes; an estimated $47,000 from the evening’s auction events was raised.

“I think this was the most people attending and the most money we have raised at our event,” Foundation Board Vice-President Cathy Mears said.

“We’re going to be able to put speakers all around the fairground and that has been a big a big concern for the foundation,” Mears added.

The board each year works with area businesses, organizations and supporters of the Yakima Fair and Rodeo and FFA to create a big night of gratitude, togetherness and fundraising. Proceeds of the event support YCFR needs and capital projects along with FFA youth programming.

Foundation Board President and Event Chair, Martina Charvet, expressed her gratitude for the valley’s continuing generosity each year.

“We don’t have complete numbers yet, but $47,500 is in the neighborhood; it was quite a night,” said Charvet.

The auction fever was rampant during both table and oral auctions. The high flying Raise the Paddle auction was earmarked to replace the old fairgrounds sound system with an updated, more comprehensive sound. Raise the Paddle proceeds topped out over $27,500, alone. The goal was $30,000.

The event continues to grow and improve, said Charvet. The idea for the fundraiser began with a few friends over a tabletop discussion at a member’s home in 2007. From $4,000 raised the first year to more than $47,000 this year, there are no complaints.

Deb Brumley can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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