In efforts to raise $45,000 to pay off its mortgage, due in January of 2026, the Yelm Senior Center will host a winter social and auction on Dec. 16. The event also celebrates the senior center’s 50th anniversary of serving the Yelm community.
Tickets to the winter social and auction cost $50 per person, or $375 per table. The evening’s dinner includes steak and lobster, and a cash bar will be on hand for thirsty attendants. Cocktail hour begins at 4:30 p.m. and coincides with a silent auction that lasts until 5:30 p.m.
“The prior leadership took out a $70,000 loan with the building as collateral. I believe they had to do what they felt was necessary at the time, but that leadership is gone, and the burden of paying off this loan falls on us,” Jeanie James, executive director of the Yelm Senior Center, said. “I just want the event to be successful. I hope we get a lot of people that’ve never been to our center before so they can actually see it.”
Auction items include numerous gift cards from local businesses, several quilts themed after the Seahawks, Huskies and Cougars, and four Mariners tickets, according to James. She said while the center is still searching for items to auction off, they’d gladly accept donations from community members.
“We’re just not coming up with a lot of big-ticket items,” James said. “It’s the first time we tried this, and I’ve never done anything of this magnitude. Since we started here seven years ago, we’d try things that we’ve never done, and I’d tell people ‘if you don’t try it, you won’t know if it’ll work or not.’ It’s probably going to end up being an annual event because we operate on $1,500 a month from the city and our membership fees, donations and grants.”
James said that though the Yelm Senior Center’s situation is dire, this is the most community support she’s seen in her seven years of involvement with the Yelm Senior Center. She added that with the increased community support, membership numbers have also increased.
“Wayne McCarten and Stephanie Kangiser and Greg and Stephanie from Grocery Outlet are huge supporters of our center. If it wasn’t for them getting the ball rolling, we wouldn’t be having our monthly dinners. Windermere Realty are also big supporters of us,” James said. “In the seven years I’ve been here, up until now, we were lucky we’d have maybe 150 members. Now, we have 244 members, and we’re growing. I think it’s because of the programs we offer.”
James noted that any money donated goes to the senior center.
“Nobody here gets paid. We all volunteer our time,” James said. “Our cooks, our cleaners, our instructors give up their time here. So any money that is donated to this center, they can know that money goes toward keeping the doors open. It doesn’t go to any individual person.”
James is hopeful that the community will support the winter social and auction event at the Yelm Senior Center. For those interested in purchasing tickets, donating items or more, call the Yelm Senior Center at 360-458-7733.
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