RAA auction seeks donations, sponsors

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

RAA auction seeks donations, sponsorsRidgecrest Autism Awareness is seeking donations and sponsors for its annual fund-raising auction — which funds activities, support and education year-round for families of children with special needs.

The outreach and support group was formed several years ago to provide a local resource for families struggling with the daily challenges that come with caring for a loved one with special needs.

“We are a 100-percent volunteer organization, so this is what allows us to continue programs,” said RAA founder Cherish Rindt.

“Our theme this year is ‘You Are Not Alone’ — which is also the reason we formed. We want to give our families support and opportunities to connect with people who are in the same situation.”

Last year’s auction raised a record-breaking $50,000. In addition to its regular offerings, RAA was able to complete a project last year that helped implement a fence and adaptive playground equipment at Petroglyph Park.

“There are a lot of businesses and individuals who support these programs throughout the year, but our only real fund-raiser is the auction.”

Big-ticket items this year include designer purses and clutches, a motorcycle, a trip to Disneyland, lift tickets for Mammoth and more.

However, some of the biggest bidding wars in the history of the auction have involved loved ones in battles over ties and scarves printed with designs created by local children with special needs.

“Square Print does a great job printing these one-of-a-kind drawings,” said Rindt, who noted that the accessories also keep the event focused on the children — the true heart and soul of the event.

“We would also like to have additional pieces by local artists,” said Rindt. “In past years people have loved the drawings, paintings and sculptures.”

She noted that many local businesses participate by putting together gift baskets that feature their products or services.

“I can’t say enough about the generosity of our community — not just the people who give to the cause through donations, but also the attendees who will bid $500 on a cake because they know how much this cause means to some of our local families,” said Rindt.

Tiered sponsorships range from $3,000 to $500. Individual tickets can be purchased for $35, or people can purchase a table of eight for $280. “With a table purchase you get preferred seating, as well as two bottles of wine.”

The auction will be held Friday, March 31, at the Kerr McGee Center. Doors open for socializing at 6 p.m., with the auction beginning at 7 p.m.

The event will also include live musical entertainment, dinner by Grape Leaf, drawing prizes and more.

For details call 760-371-9116.

Pictured: Kenny Harwood of Snap-On Tools and Rusty Warren of Warren’s Automotive donate a motorcycle for the upcoming Ridgecrest Autism Awareness Auction. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-03-10