SEQUIM — After having to cancel its in-person Gala Garden Show in 2020 and 2021 and the Gala Gift Show this past December, Soroptimist International of Sequim members are hoping the community will turn out — virtually — for the group’s Soroptimist Online Garden Show Auction that kicked off this week.
Bidding, which started at noon on Wednesday, will close at 5 p.m. Sunday, with more than 100 items up for bid. View the auction online at charityauction.bid/gardenshow.
“What makes (this fundraiser) unique is what we are doing for women and girls,” said Cat Xander, Soroptimist International of Sequim’s president-elect.
While some organizations focus their fundraising on one central project, the Sequim Soroptimists look to improve lives of women and girls across the community, including connections with other nonprofits.
“Our reach is a little broader than that because we are trying to provide some of the education, scholarships and seminars to help women and girls, and women achieve economic empowerment,” Xander said.
Sometimes that help comes in the form of supporting individuals so they can further their education for better employment — a scholarship or even more professional clothes to wear to interviews — or financial support for those in domestic abuse situations.
The group also hosts a Medical Loan Closet, one that has been restricted during the COVID months to protect the health of the community but is still a major community asset when in use, Xander said.
The online auction — the Soroptimist group’s first — features art by Jolene Sanborn, who contributed the auction’s signature painting, “Come Sit With Me,” as well as a number of glass cutting boards.
Other auction items include a flight from Sequim to Port Townsend with local pilot Emily Westcott, a two-night “staycation” at Creekside Haven, a Sanctuary Spa gift package, two golf packages, various edibles, home decor, local farm products and more, with a wide variety of price ranges.
More than half the items are garden or nature related, including planters, a birdhouse, potting benches, floral art and much more.
Other auction categories include art, jewelry, themed baskets, pets and baby items.
“I think that flight would be such a kick,” Xander noted.
The show helps raise funds for multiple Soroptimist International of Sequim efforts throughout the community.
Xander said she’s encouraged by how other local nonprofits have fared with online auctions as compared to live, in-person fundraisers.
“One of things we have been seeing in other areas (is), online, people are doing as well or better than in person,” she said.
Bidders must register but aren’t charged anything unless they win their bid items.
Items may be picked up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].