FORKS — The final lineup of auction items for the Quillayute Valley Scholarship Auction is always a surprise.
Such perennial donors as a local sports memorabilia collector and the Olympic Corrections Center, which provides handmade items, usually don’t bring their donations until Saturday morning, said Jerry Leppell, who is president of the scholarship committee auction.
So, in some cases, he won’t know what the specific items are until just before the auction begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.
But he does know that the inmates at the OCC plan to donate steel sculptures as well as hand-hewn wooden objects this year and that other auction items will range from a chain-saw sculpture by Dennis Chastain to jewelry to baked goods to experiences such as guided float trips and all-expenses-paid coyote hunts in Eastern Washington.
Hopes for 1,000 items
He’s hoping to have 1,000 items in the two-day auction, which will be at Forks High School this year, held in the school’s commons at 191 Spartan Ave.
In the past, it had been at the Bank of America building, but the branch was closed in January.
The auction will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, said Leppell.
It isn’t necessary to be in the building to bid.
Items can be seen at www.searchforks.com/qvsa — which also will have streaming video during the auction — and bids can be placed by phoning 360-374-6262, ext. 228 or 229.
“If it’s something you really want, I always suggest you stay on the line. Things go fast,” Leppell said.
This year’s goal for the auction, which last year raised about $60,000, is between $55,000 to $58,000.
“That’s a doable number the way the economy is,” Leppell said.
The auction, now in its 48th year, raises money for scholarships that are available for any Forks High School graduate.
The scholarships can be used for up to four years of college, for technical school or any other kind of job training, or for anything needed to get a person started in a career, Leppell said.
In addition to education, “we’ve also purchased tools,” he said.
Since it began, the scholarship committee has given about $1.2 million in scholarships, he said.
“It helps our seniors,” said Jess Henry, a Forks High School senior.
She and Cutter Grahn are the students in charge of the auction.
Donations can be accepted until Sunday morning, she said.
Donors can phone her at 360-640-9037 or drop items at the school.
Items already in hand include lots of firewood and organically grown beef hamburger.
Also, he said, there are the dried fruit baskets.
His 82-year-old mother, Edna Leppell, usually makes between 25 and 30 dried fruit baskets, he said.
“That’s at least 300 pounds of apples and between 300 and 400 bananas,” he said.
He hopes that all 56 of the Forks High School graduating Class of 2012 will be at the auction.
And he offered gratitude for the community’s largess.
“I just really want to thank people. I know it’s tough out there,” Leppell said.
“People are more than generous to donate this year.
“Every time something comes in, I just think, ‘Wow.’”
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or email@example.com.