2019 FILE PHOTO — Auctioneer Dan Schorno auctions off golf scrambles, gift certificates, discounts and more at the 2019 Yelm Dollars for Scholars auction. This year, the event will move online. 

The annual Yelm Dollars for Scholars auction will be online this year, with proceeds — as with every year — going to benefit scholarships and post-high school education funding for Yelm High School seniors. 

The auction was moved online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The deadline for auction item donations is Feb. 11, with the silent auction scheduled to take place March 5-12 and the live auction being held on two days, March 12-13. Dan Schorno will return to host the live auction this year. 

Further details can be found online at www.yelm.dollarsforscholars.org. 

Over the past 60 years, Yelm Dollars for Scholars volunteers have raised and distributed over $2.5 million in scholarship awards to Yelm High School students, and its strategic endowment fund balance now exceeds $700,000. 

In 2019, the auction helped raise $160,000 worth of scholarships that were awarded to 120 Yelm High School students. In 2020, about $142,000 in scholarships was awarded to 102 students. 

In 1960, the Yelm Community Scholarship Committee was founded by Bob and Kathy Wolf. The first two scholarships awarded that year were $100 each. Later, the organization was renamed: Yelm Dollars for Scholars (YDFS), and in 1991 became a registered affiliate of Scholarship America. 

The nonprofit to this day remains an all-volunteer operation chartered independently of the Yelm Community Schools district. Membership is open to anyone interested in serving the organization’s mission. 

YDFS scholarships are available to all Yelm High School diploma graduates and are merit-based, awarded on a weighted scale of academic achievement, goal setting, community and school service, and a narrative describing personal goals authored by each applicant. In the past, a professional, business-like interview was also included, deferred in 2020 owing to social distancing mandates.

The organization also, in collaboration with Crossroads Community Covenant Church, hosts an annual pumpkin patch near Four Corners, which benefits Yelm and Rainier scholarships. 

Planning for the March auction begins shortly after the pumpkin patch event, with volunteers soliciting local businesses and organizations for donated items that form the basis of the auction. 

Auction Timeline:

Participate in the Yelm Dollars for Scholars auction at yelm.dollarsforscholars.org.

Feb. 11: Deadline for auction item donations

Jan. 15-March 13: “Taste of the Prairie” with participating local restaurants scheduled

Jan. 20: Taste of the Prairie — Varsity Pizza night

Feb. 26: All auction items available to view

March 5-12: Silent Auction bidding opens; bidding closes March 12 at 5 p.m.

March 12: Live Auction items open for bidding  5 p.m.

March 13: Live Auction program 7-8 p.m.; Live Auction bidding closes item-by-item during live program

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