VALLE CRUCIS — The Valle Crucis Community Park will hold its annual auction —its single largest fundraising event of the year — on Aug. 24 at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis.

Among the items to be auctioned are hand-crafted furniture, paintings, stained glass, gift certificates for local businesses and other items. A featured item at this year’s auction is a six-day resort stay in Belize. Attendees can purchase breakfast and preview auction items beginning at 8:30 a.m., with live bidding starting at 9:30. The auction will be led by Jesse Miller and Anne Rasheed.

“We begin planning for this event months in advance, and many people contribute to its success,” said Valle Crucis Park Executive Director Ashley Galleher. “The auction is a really fun community event where you can find some great items and know that you’re supporting a wonderful cause at the same time.”

Valle Crucis Park is a nonprofit organization that relies on private donations and events such as the auction for over 90 percent of its operating budget, according to Galleher.

“A lot of our users aren’t aware that we rely on their donations to be able to serve the region as we have done for over 35 years,” Galleher said. “We have more people using the park than ever before. Whether they’re regular or first-time visitors, the comment that I often hear is what a special place the park is.”

The park is a designated Environmental Education Center, and provides weekly educational sessions for children throughout the summer season. In addition, the park hosts events like the Watauga County Watershed Field Day, when more than 350 eighth-grade students will attend in September; weekly bird-identification walks with representatives from the Audubon Society; and various sporting events and activities.

“With increased use of the park comes increased operating and maintenance costs. That’s why events like our annual auction mean more than ever to the sustainability of the park,” Galleher said.

More information about the auction can be found at vallecrucispark.org or its page on Facebook by searching for Valle Crucis Community Park. People can also call the park office at (828) 963-9239.

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