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Sunnyside Christian Schools auction set for May 19

If you've ever wanted to own a gator, now you've got a chance to win one. OK, so it's not a real alligator, but this one might be better anyway.

As part of Sunnyside Christian School's annual Booster Club Auction fund-raiser, a 2005 John Deere Gator CX will be raffled off to one lucky winner. The kicker is, it could cost you as little as $1 to win the vehicle.

Booster Club President Diane Puterbaugh said the club gets the vehicles they've raffled off in the past at a highly reduced rate, which allows them to take money from the raffle and put it directly towards financial needs the school has.

"It's a huge tradition," Puterbaugh said of the raffle and auction.

This year Barnett Implement of Yakima provided the Gator to be raffled.

Typically, the club will sell 7,000 to 8,000 tickets for the vehicle, Puterbaugh said.

To raise awareness of the raffle and auction, Puterbaugh said the Gator will be moved to different businesses throughout the Lower Valley. Right now the Gator is on display at Walco International at 122 N. 16th Street.

The Gator will also be on display at Bleyhl's, Les Schwab in Grandview and banks in the area, Puterbaugh said.

She said the businesses are good about allowing them to display the vehicle and also sell tickets for the raffle.

Along with the raffle, Puterbaugh said a live auction will be held on May 19 at Yakima Chief warehouse.

"They've let us use their building at no cost," Puterbaugh said.

Proceeds from the live auction, along with the raffle of the Gator, go to support the school, which is privately funded.

Puterbaugh said the auction helps bring in more than $40,000 for the school on a yearly basis, but "it depends on our economy," she said.

That money is necessary to fund all types of programs including, cultural activities, sports activities, busing and building projects througout the year.

Items that are auctioned at the event can include a variety of things. Puterbaugh said anything from loads of gravel and feed, to handmade quilts and sports tickets are up for grabs to the highest bidder.

Even teachers and children at the school get involved in the event. Puterbaugh said different classes will come up with projects that will be auctioned.

The evening's festivities usually include a steak dinner, too.

"It's pretty well attended," said Puterbaugh, noting that they often sell more than 300 tickets to the dinner event. "We get really, really good support."

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