For 21 years the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers has been raising funds at their Annual Western Auction.  In 2010 over $77,000 was raised on one February night with  more than 440 attendees at the Holiday Inn of Crystal Lake.  Each year, the funds are donated to charities, and this year was no exception.   The day before Thanksgiving the club handed checks to six area charities for local support. "We are grateful to the community that helps us raise these funds and grateful we live in such a wonderful, service-focused county," said club president Penny Johns-Thompsen.

Checks for $3500 were given to Turning Point, Home of the Sparrow, Crystal Lake Food Pantry and Faith in Action. The Crystal Lake Police Department received a check for $2500 for their Early Intervention System and Salvation Army received $950 to support local families at Christmas.

Additional donations will be given in future weeks to Hospice of Northeastern Illinois and NISRA. These are in addition to the club's commitment to educational scholarships through the Scott Mueller Scholarship and Joe Helbling Scholarship program.

According to the club's Charity Fund president John Daly, giving back is at the core of Rotary. "Every dollar raised at the Annual Western Auction is donated. Service Above Self is the motto of our club and of Rotary International. We raise funds in order to give back to the community and support Rotary around the world."

The 22nd Annual Wester Auction will be March 5, 2011, and the club is committed to raising more than 2010.  Auction Chair Cliff Jackson announced:  "This year's goal is $100,000 as a start on the second million dollars raised by this club."



Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers presented donations from funds raised at the 2010 Western Auction.  Pictured are: Deputy Chief of Crystal Lake Police Eugene Lowery, Rotary President Penny Johns-Thompsen, Faith in Action Rhonda Anderson, Home of the Sparrow Debbie DeGraw, Turning Point Jane Farmer, Crystal Lake Food Pantry Cate Williams, Rotary Charity Fund President John Daly, Salvation Army Major John Price.