Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Stars, stripes, and generous bids


MANSON - The community of Manson wrapped up its 44th annual Independence Day celebrations, highlighted by one of North Central Washington's largest fireworks displays. The event, a cornerstone of local tradition, was made possible by robust fundraising efforts that reached their $50,000 goal.

Central to this year's funding success was the 8th Annual Stars and Stripes Auction, held on June 26 at the 12 Tribes Outdoor Amphitheater. Over 100 people attended the event, which kicked off with entertainment by country musician Steve Dunlop, known as "Southern Comfort," who performed Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

The auction featured both live and silent bidding opportunities that drew strong community participation. Highlights included unique experiences such as a fireworks barge tour on Lake Chelan, a helicopter wine tour, and a week-long stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Local businesses were well-represented in the offerings, with year-long pizza subscriptions from area restaurants and wine club memberships proving popular among bidders. The silent auction presented a variety of items ranging from skydiving experiences and fishing derby tickets to wine tastings and sports memorabilia.

Over 40 local businesses and organizations sponsored the auction, demonstrating broad community support for Manson's Fourth of July festivities.

Bill Swayne, Manson Chamber of Commerce President and owner of Chelan Ridge Winery, praised the event's success. "It was an amazing event," Swayne said. "The weather was perfect and those in attendance were eager to support the cause."

Justin Rupple, a multi-talented performer known for his appearances on "America's Got Talent," served as auctioneer for the live auction. Rupple, celebrated for his impressions and comedy, brought energy and enthusiasm to the bidding process.

The auction was co-chaired by Becca Hines and Mariah Koester, who were recognized for their extensive volunteer efforts in organizing the event.

The Fourth of July celebrations, culminating in the grand fireworks display over Manson Bay, marked the successful conclusion of Manson's patriotic events. The community's enthusiasm and generosity, evident from the auction through to the holiday itself, underscored the strong local spirit and commitment to this annual tradition.


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