THIS SCHOOL’S FOR YOU – Mary Densmore, Skagit County Historical Museum archivist, played high-end auction house assistant last Saturday. She walked “Skagit City School Giclee,” a print of Roger Small’s painting, around the room of museum supporters so they could get a close look. Dave Thomas, a familiar name because he is county assessor as well as a museum board member, bought it. – Photo by Ken Stern
Supporters from around the Valley flocked to Maple Hall Saturday to root for the home team at the Skagit County Historical Museum’s “Party Like You’re in the Hall of Fame Gala” fundraiser. The evening blended seamlessly with the Museum’s current exhibit, “Hometown Skagit.”
Maple Hall had the look of a hall of fame. The wide range of sports memorabilia included Kim Good-Rubensrein’s early 1970s La Conner High cheer uniform complete with bead work. Present center stage was Kalijah, the La Conner High traveling mascot that rode on the team bus to games after it was carved by the late Andrew Joe for the La Conner High Class of 1954. Joe, an accomplished Swinomish carver, carved canoes for Hollywood studios.
Varsity jackets hung around the balcony and were part of the wide range of sports attire, including baseball uniforms and football jerseys worn by many of the 100 attendees. There was also a jail cell euphemistically termed a “penalty box,” that friends sent their friends to for a $10 donation.
Museum Director Jo Wolfe named two inaugural groups in the Museum’s new Hall of Fame: the founding committee of the historical society tasked with planning a county historical museum in 1958 and the group charged with overseeing the Museum’s construction in 1968. Seventeen individuals, or family members, stood and were recognized when these founders were named.
Wick Peth was also recognized for his achievements as a rodeo bull fighter from the 1950s into the 1980s. Part of a historic Bow ranching family, Peth is a member of several rodeo halls of fame.
Don Wick, not related, but name-tagged to Peth, emceed the live auction, supporting auctioneer Maynard Axelson by describing items, encouraging bidding and maintaining the cheerful banter for which he is known, including numerous lutefisk jokes, an infliction from his Norwegian heritage.
The high bid items of the 15 up for live auction were the Skagit County farm tour led by Don McMoran, WSU Skagit County Extension director and pioneer family scion, bought by Mary Kirkwood for $1,300 and Swinomish Carver Kevin Paul’s cedar salmon paddle, bought by Ollie Iversen for $700.
Some 28 silent auction items, ranging from three pounds of garlic to wine baskets, filled the silent auction tables.
Over $22,900 was raised in ticket sales, sponsorships and funds donated, before expenses.
One-hundred-sixteen people attended the second annual gala fundraiser, including staff and volunteers. Mike in the Morning emceed early in the evening, then Knut Bell followed, singing songs he wrote of the Skagit Valley “We would like to thank all of the people who came to the event, volunteered to help make it such a success, donated items for the auctions, and sponsored our season. We would especially like to thank our Special Events Committee chair, Jenifer Alvord Bright, for all of her hard work to make this such a success!” Wolfe wrote in an email Monday.
“Hometown Skagit” closes Nov. 10 at the historical museum.