The Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise

The Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise worked with the Russian Riverkeepers' Clean Team to clean up the area around Occidental Road and High School Road in late April.

Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise is doing a silent auction, called the Water and Life Auction,  from May 2 through May 16 to raise money for the Russian Riverkeepers’ Clean Team and their work keeping the Russian River and its tributaries clean and healthy.

“We are launching a first ever attempt by hosting an online fundraising silent auction. Not unique perhaps, but it’s what we can do,” Rotary Sunrise member David Mark Raymond said, noting that the pandemic has put a crimp in everyone’s fundraising efforts over the last year.

Raymond explained that Chris Brokate, a member of Rotary Sunrise, is the leader of Russian Riverkeepers Clean Team.

“He fields a truck outfitted to pick up trash, appliances, furniture and debris dumped and abandoned on our roadways, streams and riverbanks in Sonoma County,” Raymond said. “Amongst their activities, they go to homeless camps. The residents bag up and put out for pick-up, and some have engaged and actually work part time for The Clean Team.”

Brokate’s Clean Team also does roadside cleanups, Raymond said, and several members of Rotary Sebastopol Sunrise helped with a recent clean up in the area of Occidental Road and High School Road.

Rotary Sunrise’s silent auction aims raise $5,000  to equip the Riverkeepers’  truck with a lift for piling in litter bags and the larger debris they pick up.

“We are young and strong in our minds, but lifting some of that stuff is far too heavy,” said Raymond, who participated in the High School Road cleanup.

The silent auction for the Russian Riverkeepers is part of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise’s new “Fund a Need” campaign.

“Due to pandemic disruptions in people’s lives and unique challenges their immediate needs present, we have pivoted to addresses the issues of the day and are as active as ever,”  Raymond said, even though fundraising with social distancing brings its own challenges.

“This will not be our only fundraiser this year,” Raymond said. “Given the needs, it can’t be.”

Take a look at the items in the silent auction here — — and bid generously.

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