Many people fondly recall the sights and sounds of a childhood trip to the circus. Portland, Ore.-based OnPoint Community Credit Union, host of the 20th Annual Credit Unions for Kids Auction, hoped to evoke those pleasant memories by dubbing the event "A Night Under the Big Top."
At the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, more than 300 attendees enjoyed the atmosphere created by primary colors, gumball centerpieces and a gilded cage. Drapery hung from the ceiling to form a tent and a circus ring in the middle of the ballroom served as the stage.
The auction's big ticket items included trips to the Masters golf tournament, the Children's Miracle Network celebration in Orlando, Fla., and a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. However, there were items at every price range, including a $50 paddle raise donation that allowed almost 100% of the attendees to participate. "This way everyone could feel a part of the evening's tremendous success," said Kelly Schrader, senior vice president/marketing and member services at OnPoint and chair of the auction committee.
The evening also included a special presentation from a former patient at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. "She shared her story and helped people understand what it meant to her to receive the treatment she did at the hospital they support," said Erin Moore, marketing specialist at OnPoint and an auction coordinator.
Schrader added, "When people know where their money goes when they donate it, it makes it that much more powerful."
The $124,000 raised by the auction will go toward a labor and delivery triage room at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore., a HUGS infant security system at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Ore., and an endowed professorship for Dr. Robert Steiner at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, a division of Oregon Health and Science University.
As the hospital's head of pediatric metabolism, Steiner works with children born with metabolism disorders such as phenylketonuria, or PKU. Components of the PKU heel prick test for newborn screening used in virtually all developed countries had origins at OHSU, according to Sue Nicol, executive director of the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation.
"We are honored to have the enthusiasm and support of OnPoint Credit Union and are most grateful for their compassion and dedication to improving the health of every child," Nicol said.
The Credit Unions for Kids program is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from around the country engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children's Miracle Network-affiliated children's hospitals serving 17 million kids.