Peninsula High School senior James Washington dedicated his senior project efforts to a dinner auction that he and friends worked on for months because he “wanted to give back to the Community Inclusions Program, which has done so much for me.”

He hoped to attract about 100 supporters and wished to garner some $5,000 for the organization. Washington’s teacher, Wendy Christiansen, said, “We figure there were 250-plus in attendance that night. Although some donations are yet to be processed and expenses to be paid, it looks like they broke the 20 grand mark.”$20,000!

“James had about 150 silent auction items donated, many of which were hand made by high school students and staff,” Christiansen said. “The 18 live auction items came from both the local community and PHS staff and students.”

CIP youth auctioned off themselves in pairs as “Companion for the Day,” a day’s activity of choice like a train ride, adventure trip to Mason Lake, the zoo, etc. and brought in a total of $1,050. One of the CIP students, Sasha Turgman, left the next morning for China with a team of PHS students and planned to share the CIP mission there.

Robin Peterson and Bob Scott of Scott Realty fought a tough bidding battle for a visit to the top of the tower of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge with five friends. It culminated in Peterson’s final bid of $1,800. Volunteer auctioneer Jim Borgen, who arranged for the auction item, offered Scott the same tower visit if he would make the same bid – which Scott did – thus adding $3,600 to the auction’s success.

Christiansen summed it all up by saying, “As (Community Inclusion Program coordinator) Betty Johnson said to me at the end of the evening, looking out over this large and diverse group of people, ‘This is community inclusion. This is what we’ve always wanted.’”

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