Organizers of the major fundraiser for the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade awoke with fear Saturday morning.
Snow had covered the city 12 hours before the 2009 Charity Auction was to begin. But as evening came — and the roads cleared — auction chairwoman Deb Drummet started to breathe easier.
“I’m very happy,” she said at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway.
She estimated about 220 people attended the event that offered more than 230 donated items during a silent and live auctions.
Money raised in conjunction with the auction, the March 17 downtown parade and other events will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of New York School, Lawrence Parents as Teachers, GaDuGi Safe Center and the Lawrence High School’s Positive Support Team.
Auction leaders had expressed concern that a new location and the economy could play a factor in reducing donations this year. In the past, the auction has raised anywhere from $35,000 to $47,000.
Although committee members were still tallying numbers Saturday night, the attendance gave them comfort.
“It’s just their desire to give to children’s charities in Douglas County and the variety and the uniqueness of the items we offer,” Drummet said.
City Commissioner Sue Hack said the tradition of the St. Patrick’s Day charitable events and the hard work of the volunteers inspires the community to donate even during tougher economic times.
“That doesn’t surprise me at all for Lawrence,” Hack said. “I think we really step in when the need is greatest.”
• Early registration for the 2009 Shamrock Shuffle’s 5K road race or 2-mile fun walk ends this week. A $20 donation and registration form must be postmarked before Tuesday and mailed to Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade, P.O. Box 1702, Lawrence, KS 66044. Registration forms are available at lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com/5Krun.html.
A $25 donation is suggested on race day for registration that begins at 7 a.m. Saturday behind Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.
The race starts at 8 a.m. Saturday on the Kansas River levee behind Johnny’s Tavern.
• The 22nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 1 p.m. March 17 at South Park.
• More information about Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day events are available online at lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com.