The second Saturday of last month, the Longbranch Improvement Club’s “Raise Your Spirits and Raise the Roof” dinner auction at the LIC clubhouse was judged a “surprisingly well attended event” by Rich Hildahl, a past president of the organization.

“We’d hoped for a good crowd, but were astonished with the overflow … of those attending,” he said. “We had to set up extra tables and chairs to meet the need.”

According to Hildahl, the auction brought in about $15,000, all of which will be used for installation of a new roof on the clubhouse, which is a national historic landmark. The new roof will cost about $100,000. Club members plan to replace or overcover the current rusting galvanized-steel roof with a new steel roof of more durable finish. At this juncture, the building structure will have to be examined by certified experts to determine if it will support another layer of steel before final planning can proceed.

Auction committee co-chairs Connie Hildahl and Carolyn Wiley said “putting together an auction takes countless hours of hard work, dedication, and a passion for the cause.” They thanked auctioneer Jim Marso; art director Tim Heitzman; the dinner committee members Linda LeBlanc, Paula Bowen, and Norma Iverson; administrative coordinator Carol Ptak; and the auction committee members Pat Latshaw, MaryAnn McDonald, and Mark Jones.

“So many more deserve recognition and credit for a job well done, it would fill a book,” the co-chairs said.

More than 80 individuals, businesses and other groups contributed an eclectic offering of auction items including artwork, plants, jewelry, baskets, newspaper subscriptions, pottery, boat cruises, nights in a condo in Seattle, building supplies, even wristwatches and a military top coat from the former Soviet Union. But the item that drew most fervent attention was a used book sale of some pretty ratty looking books, into which “surprises” were placed, including gift certificates for a variety of goodies that in at least one case far exceeded in value the price paid.

Those wishing to help get that roof on the LIC clubhouse are encouraged to call past president Rich Hildahl at 884-1400.

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