Auction nets over $13,000 for ECR

by Tom Coombe

Ely Community Resource’s annual art auction and fundraiser generated over $13,000 for the community service organization.<BR><BR>More than 160 people attended the April 23 event at the Ely Community Center, bidding on approximately 175 items of art.<BR><BR>When it was over, ECR officials were smiling.<BR><BR>“We did great,” said ECR Executive Director Patti Zupancich. “We don’t have final numbers yet, but we raised about $13,200 from the art alone. We’re really very pleased.”<BR><BR>ECR will come close to matching the results of the 2003 auction - the most successful in the 26-year history of the event - which raised about $14,000.<BR><BR>After a buffet dinner, those in attendance bid on donated art items, auctioned off by hosts Bob Braff and Rob Wilmunen.<BR><BR>Monies raised from the event are earmaked toward ECR’s youth programming.<BR><BR>“The money kind of goes into all the programs we provide for youth,” said Zupancich. “We also have to raise some local match funding for our state grants.”<BR><BR>Save for modest allocations from the Ely School District and the City of Ely, which cover about 16 percent of ECR’s expenses, the rest of the agency’s roughly $150,000 annual budget comes from grants and a capital campaign.<BR><BR>ECR serves over 500 area youth with one or more of its services, which include lunchtime and after-school programming for elementary students, peer mediation, youth mentoring, community awareness and service activities, counseling and referral related to substance use and abuse, and high school programs such as peer helpers and the local youth board.