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We went to the annual fundraiser for the island clinic last week. The old familiar players were there: Dedicated volunteers, in this case the Lutheran women’s group, who run the show; then the local businesses who donate products or services; then a mix of people close to the clinic, employed there or doing volunteer work, along with their families, complemented by a wider audience, including “summer people” like us, comparatively educated and well-off.
Funds are raised through the tickets themselves for a dinner of barbecued steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, a salad buffet and, for dessert, a selection of about 20 different kinds of brownies, all baked by the local women. The second source of money is an auction for baskets of food, household goods and “antiques”. Finally, there are lottery tickets for the most valuable donations. As far as I’m concerned, the most impressive donation every year is a quilt made by a woman (see picture) who starts sewing it in late summer, working on it for hours every day until it’s finished in time for the next fundraiser. She’s been donating a quilt a year since the 80s, and every one is a unique work of art. My mother, who used to live here year round, won the quilt a few years back. Tickets are a dollar a piece. And, no, we didn’t win it this year.