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Artistic youth benefit

Scot Ratzlaff, Harbor Tower Village executive director, and Hazel Welliver, the facility’s assistant program director, display a few of the student artworks that will be auctioned off this weekend in the Youth Art Walk and Silent Auction Harbor Tower is holding as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross, Island County Chapter. Merchant donations will also be available to bid on. - Paul Boring/Whidbey News-Times
Scot Ratzlaff, Harbor Tower Village executive director, and Hazel Welliver, the facility’s assistant program director, display a few of the student artworks that will be auctioned off this weekend in the Youth Art Walk and Silent Auction Harbor Tower is holding as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross, Island County Chapter. Merchant donations will also be available to bid on.
— image credit: Paul Boring/Whidbey News-Times

Interest in this weekend’s inaugural Harbor Tower Village-sponsored Youth Art Walk and Silent Auction has snowballed in the best possible way. And the Island County Chapter of the American Red Cross will be the beneficiary of the community goodwill.

Students from Whidbey Island schools have donated their works of art to the auction, which will be held Friday through Sunday at the Harbor Tower Village retirement community located at 100 E Whidbey Ave. in Oak Harbor.

Although the student art is the auction’s focus, Oak Harbor merchants have also jumped aboard.

“A gazillion merchants have donated items,” said Hazel Welliver, Harbor Tower Village assistant program director. A simple letter to businesses soliciting donations for the fundraiser generated far more interest than anticipated.

“The community’s really stepped up,” said Executive Director Scot Ratzlaff. “Do you need some topsoil?”

Ratzlaff wasn’t joking. Donations have ranged from topsoil to laundry change, along with a cornucopia of gift certificates.

“We’re a member of this community and that’s why we’re doing this,” Ratzlaff said. “The students have done an amazing job.”

The schools with students involved include Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor and North Whidbey middle schools, Coupeville Middle School and High School, South Whidbey High School, South Whidbey Middle School, and the South Whidbey Christian Academy.

The weekend will kick off Friday evening with a private reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for artists, their families, and supporters of the American Red Cross. People planning to attend the reception and “sneak peek” should RSVP at 675-2569.

The art walk will be open to the general public Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. A silent auction will be held throughout the weekend.

People are encouraged to stop by and bid on their favorite artwork or exhibit. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross, Island County Chapter.

For more information call 675-2569.

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