Elevating the arts

CEF annual auction will include 'special appeal' to enrich school art programs

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Danielle Frost/Post-Record Camas School Board member Doug Quinn addresses attendees at last year's Camas Educational Foundation dinner and auction. Organizers are hoping to raise $110,000 this year to benefit Camas schools.

Over the past 15 years, the Camas Educational Foundation has given more than $1 million to local schools.The organization is hoping to continue that tradition with its annual auction on Saturday, Oct. 19. “CEF on Broadway” is a celebration of the arts in any form, whether written, performed, drawn or otherwise experienced, said Mandy Huth, auction chair.

“Our special appeal this year, in line with the theme, is to ‘Elevate the Arts,’ giving voice to our students’ stories,” she said. “The arts are a crucial aspect of children’s education that we want to support this year. We will have some very special performers from our very own Camas High School. It is a show you don’t want to miss.”

The event, held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Vancouver, will include a four-course steak dinner, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, live and silent auctions, and “gift card city.” Professional auctioneer JillMarie Wiles will run the live event, as she has for the past 10 years. Dress is “fancy, semi-formal red carpet attire.” Tickets are $68 per person. Doors open at 5 p.m.

“Every year that we help make Camas schools world class is special, but this year, we hope to bring a memorable experience that mimics the red carpet and Broadway mingled together,” Huth said. “It is a great evening for the community to come together and celebrate, all while raising money to make Camas students’ learning experience special.”

CEF has two goals this year, she added. The organization is hoping to raise $110,000 from the auction, which includes a special appeal of $15,000.

“The special appeal is a collection of cold, hard cash to support our special cause this year, the arts,” Huth said. “We hope to raise $15,000 in order to award each of our 15 schools $1,500.”

New this year is a raffle called “The Broadway Experience.” For $20, anyone can purchase a chance to win a trip to New York, including airfare, four days of accommodations, and four tickets (2 pairs of 2 tickets) to Broadway shows. No more than 800 tickets will be sold.

Last year, $105,000 was raised, and from the net proceeds, $93,000 was given back to the schools.

“We would love to continue to grow, and give more to the schools each year,” she said.

Huth has assisted with the auction for seven years, and joined the CEF board in 2010. She currently serves as its president as well as auction chair.

“I had the same desire as our founder, Karen Stermitz, to provide a quality education, equal to or above private schools, within the public school system,” she said.

Huth added that supporting the auction is good for everyone in the community.

“First, if one has children in the school system, CEF seeks to work with the school administration to create experiences that help to develop lifelong learners,” she said. “We look to impact each of our almost 6,500 children at least once every two years, if not more.

“Second, for those without children, it is important to note that one of the draws of Camas is its quality schools,” Huth continued. “Having a school system that is sought out means that our community attracts quality businesses and talent to our city, which ultimately brings quality people into our community, retaining and attracting affluence and better home prices.”

Registration for the auction is available online at or by calling 335-3000, Ext. 79915. Information and registration fees can also be mailed to CEF at 841 N.E. 22nd Ave, Camas, WA 98607.