The St. Patrick's Day-themed event hopes to raise $50,000 for the school district

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - This year's North Marion Auction is March 17.Take part in the annual North Marion All-Schools Auction and it might be your lucky night.

Saturday night, the St. Patrick's Day-themed event, "It's Your Lucky Night," will be held at Woodburn Legacy Health Center and includes a silent auction, dinner, dessert auction and live auction. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the silent auction and bar open until 7. Dinner, catered by Loco Ono will then be served, followed by the live auction, which begins around 8 p.m. with the dessert auction. The live auction, emceed by Tom McConkey, will feature North Marion alum Gary McLaren, of McLaren Auction Services, as the auctioneer. There are about 19 live auction items, auction committee chairman Glenn Holum said, which vary from a week's stay in Hawaii to hot air balloon rides to a handcrafted bar.

Every year, the auction has a "Raise the Paddle" dedicated fundraiser during the live auction. This year's large fundraiser, entitled "Music to Your Ears," is for musical instruments for the middle and high schools.

"Kids can rent instruments from the school but many are getting old," Holum said. "(Music teacher) Kaden Christensen is going to talk about it (at the auction). (As a North Marion student) he was one of the recipients from an earlier auction (that went toward the music department), and it set him on a track for music being a big part of his life. He went to college and is back at North Marion as a teacher and is doing a phenomenal job there."

Last year's "Raise the Paddle" broke a record, raising $8,375 toward a new sound system in honor of Andy Pine, a 2014 graduate who was killed in a motor vehicle crash in September 2016. Holum noted that the sound system has been used for last year's May Day, drama productions, music performances and more, and there's a big difference thanks to the upgrade.

Overall, last year's auction raised $48,900, so this year the committee hopes to reach $50,000.

The event, which is powered by about 50 volunteers, supports programs and projects within North Marion School District that are not already in the district budget. Toward the beginning of the school year, staff members are given fund request forms that have to be turned in to the North Marion Auction committee by mid-February for consideration that year.

"We obviously can't fund every request to the amount they're looking for, but our committee sits down and decides based on what is going to impact the most students," Holum explained. "We also look closely at if it's something the district is already funding, working in concert with the superintendent. And we like to balance it, to take all four schools into consideration."

Last year, funds were distributed as follows:

• $8,375 — New sound system for high school (Raise the Paddle event)

• $6,500 — Chromebooks for primary school

• $5,000 — Senior class all-night grad party

• $4,000 — Eighth-grade celebration

• $2,600 — Wood shop equipment for high school

• $1,000 — Water fountain for middle school

• $1,000 — OMSI field trip for intermediate school

• $1,000 — P.E. equipment for middle school

• $1,000 — STEM equipment

• $500 — Supplies for Freshman Academy.

Tickets are $40 per person (or a table of eight for $240) and can be purchased at

Since its inception in 2007, the fundraiser has raised nearly $350,000 for North Marion programs.

Donations for the silent and dessert auctions are still being accepted. For more information, contact Christi Christensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lindsay Keefer can be reached at 503-765-1193 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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