Rotary’s Run for the Roses: A virtual event with a REAL impact

The event may be virtual, but this year’s Run for the Roses auction and gala will bring tangible, vital benefits to families in need.

Hosted by Rotary Club of South Everett/Mukilteo on Saturday, April 24, the Kentucky Derby-themed auction and gala offers a chance to “gather” virtually and vie for some amazing auction items and prizes – all while raising much needed funds for the club’s community service projects.

While the event was cancelled last year due to COVID, this will mark the 24th event – and one that has the potential to make a big difference both here at home and farther afield.

“The last few events have netted about $160,000 annually – money that is used to support local, district and global initiatives, with a greater emphasis on those here at home,” says Rotary Club President Sheila Countryman-Bean. “We’re not going to let COVID get in the way of helping our community.”

The event will include fun features like a Kentucky Derby-inspired hat contest and the option to reserve dinner and drink packages or other add-ons to enjoy at home during the virtual celebration.

A wide array of items will be up for silent auction, including gift baskets, services, merchandise, vacation stays and a Canadian getaway that can be used once the borders reopen. Cruising fans even have the option of purchasing raffle tickets to sail away with a long-awaited cruise (the prize has no expiration date). Raffle tickets must be purchased from Rotary members, contact .Sharon Berry at [email protected] for additional information. A second raffle will give auction patrons a chance to win $1,000 in auction credit.

While traditionally the event sells tickets for admission, this year it’s free, with the optional items to purchase and silent auction supporting the fundraising effort.

Service above self

Founded in 1989, the Rotary Club of South Everett/Mukilteo boasts 70 members who pursue projects in the South Everett area, as well as those at a district level and through Rotary International. With Rotary’s motto of “service above self,” the club undertakes humanitarian and hands-on service projects supporting many of today’s most pressing issues, such as children at risk, poverty, the environment and illiteracy.

At Thanksgiving, members distributed 365 food baskets to families in the Mukilteo School District, for example. Other initiatives include parks clean-up projects and food distribution.

At a global level, Rotary International has worked to eradicate polio by funding the distribution of vaccine in developing nations.

While meeting virtually for now, the club gathers from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Fridays, welcoming community speakers and reviewing club news and community initiatives. “We’re a very inclusive group and new members are always welcome,” Countryman-Bean says. “We encourage anyone in the community to reach out to one of our members to learn more about what we do.”

Learn more about the Rotary Club of South Everett/Mukilteo at

Visit online to register for the Run for the Roses virtual gala and silent auction.

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