Port Angeles businesses stage silent auction through Feb. 16 for Red Cross Haiti aid

PORT ANGELES — Businesses in Port Angeles have been quick to answer a call to aid victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

Nearly 50 downtown businesses, and a few outside the district, have donated goods, services and gift certificates to a silent auction sponsored by the Port Angeles Downtown Association, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross to fund Haitian relief efforts.

The auction — which begins today — will end at 2 p.m. Feb. 16.

Jan Harbick, PADA vice president, organized the event and said the response has been tremendous.

‘Beyond expectations’

“It’s been far beyond expectations,” she said. “They have donated some really nice items, and they are very willing to participate.”

Harbick said one reason she was able to get the auction under way quickly is past experience.

The downtown association held silent auctions following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans in 2005.

There is a complete list of all businesses participating and items donated on the PADA Web site, www.portangelesdowntown.com.

While the bulk of the items were donated in time for the start of the auction this morning, Harbick said donations will be accepted until the closing date.

Creative donations

Harbick said there have been some very creative donations, including a package with an overnight stay at the James Bay Inn in Victoria coupled with two round-trip tickets to Victoria aboard the MV Coho.

That donation is courtesy of the Victoria Centre at The Landing mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave.

One of the most expensive items in the auction is a handmade tanzanite and crystal necklace, donated by artist Sharon Shaner at the Landings Art Gallery in The Landing mall.

The necklace is priced at $185 retail, but the minimum starting bid is $100.

Other Landings gallery artists donating works are Harry Von Stark, with a photographic print valued at $95 and Gloria Magner with a fused glass necklace and earring set, retail value $50.

Both of those items have a minimum bid of $20.

At Quilted Strait at 139 W. First St., owner Kris Cornell and her staff are donating a cozy red flannel lap quilt with a floral pattern made by Barbara Stevenson.

“This is a really successful event and a great way to raise funds,” Cornell said.

Twilight fans may be interested to know that Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., is donating a boxed, hardcover set of the Twilight saga series and a “Where Bella Buys Her Books” T-shirt.

Not to be outdone, Dazzled by Twilight, 135 E. First St., is offering a Twilight tour for two and a $50 gift certificate to the store.

Most businesses are displaying the auction items in their front windows.

To bid, simply stop in and place a bid on the list.

Winning bids

Weather permitting, representatives of the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the American Red Cross will announce the winning bids from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Laurel Street fountain. The winners will pay the Red Cross and receive a receipt for their items.

Harbick said if it rains that day, an indoor location will be announced on the association’s Web site.

For those who want to donate to the cause without bidding, the downtown association has donation tins at Golden Crafts, 112 S. Lincoln St.; Budget Tapes and Records, 111 W. Front St.; Waters West, 140 W. Front St.; Laurel Barber Shop, 108 N. Laurel St.; McCrorie Furnishings, 124 E. First St.; Pen Print, 230 E. First St.; and Peninsula Daily News, 305 W. First St.

Donation totals

Michelle Kelley, executive director of the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the American Red Cross, said local donations for Haiti as of Thursday totaled $9,616.

According to the American Red Cross, the organization had spent or committed by Thursday more than $67 million to Haitian aid.

Of that amount, 79 percent has gone to food and water, 18 percent on shelter items and the remainder on health and family services.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that was centered on the capital city of Port-au-Prince has left an estimated 200,000 dead, 250,000 injured and 2 million homeless in the nation of 9 million.

Haiti ranks 148th of 179 countries on the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index, which also shows that 76 percent of Haitians live on less than $2 per day and 56 percent on less than $1 per day.

_______

Features Editor Marcie Miller can be reached at 360-417-3550 or [email protected] news.com.

The Peninsula Daily News will publicize additional Haitian relief efforts on the North Olympic Peninsula both in print and online. Contact Miller at the above phone number or e-mail address, or by fax to Miller’s attention at 360-417-3521.

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