Onalaska Alliance holding annual fundraising banquet and auction; tickets now available


The Onalaska Alliance will hold its annual fundraising banquet and auction on from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at The Mason Jar Gathering Barn in Onalaska, according to Onalaska Alliance Vice Chair Cathy Murphy.

Banquet tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased on the Onalaska Alliance’s website here https://www.onalaskaalliance.org/store/p5/fundraising-dinner.html. The Mason Jar is located at 637 Leonard Road in Onalaska.

Murphy said the banquet helps pay for operating costs, events the Onalaska Alliance puts on — including the town’s annual Easter egg hunt and the Onalaska Apple Harvest Festival — and helps pay for maintenance and improvement projects at Carlisle Lake Park.

“If people use the park, this is a good way to offer support,” Murphy said. “Even though (Carlisle Lake) Park is privately owned by our community nonprofit, there’s no charge for any of the use, and the lake is open for fishing year-round.”

The lake is still considered private property, though, meaning the Alliance has to pay property taxes and for insurance along with utilities to facilities at the park.

“That’s our biggest operating expense,” Murphy added.

Aside from helping to pay Easter egg hunt and Apple Harvest Festival expenses, banquet funds also go toward scholarships offered to Onalaska High School students.

“All the proceeds go back into the community,” Murphy said.

The banquet’s dinner will be catered by Toledo’s The Crowded Kitchen Catering Co. and will include parmesan chicken, pulled pork, creamy herb potatoes, green beans with sweet onions and bacon, a Caesar salad and artisan bread.

A “dessert frenzy” will be held after dinner with the table having the highest donation total picking first. According to Murphy, a generous donor paid for half of the catering costs, but wished to remain anonymous.

The auction will feature both silent and live auction items, including a one-night stay for two, passes to the movie theater and a $50 gift certificate donated by McMenamins Olympic Club in Centralia, as well as a fly-fishing trip for two, a weekend getaway at a house in Ocean Shores and more.

“North Fork Custom Rods has also donated one of their custom fishing rods for the auction,” Murphy said. “And Kearney Creek Farm has donated a CSA (community supported agriculture) box with half a lamb.”

A hand-made quilt from Heavenly Quilts and Fabric Redeemed in Onalaska, car wash supplies and a free alignment at a Les Schwab Tire Center, photo prints from local photographers and more will also be up for auction.

Additionally, 15 golden tickets, $100 each, will be available at the auction. A drawing will be held and one lucky holder of a golden ticket will get to take home any item from the live auction items with no additional cost or bidding.

Auction items will be previewed on the Onalaska Alliance’s Facebook page leading up to the banquet, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/OnalaskaAlliance

Established in 2009, the Onalaska Alliance is a nonprofit aiming to create innovative and sustainable economic and educational opportunities which align with Onalaska and the surrounding area’s rural lifestyle.

To learn more about the Onalaska Alliance, visit https://www.onalaskaalliance.org/ or email onalaskaalliance09@gmail.com