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Hurricane Sandy benefit is county-wide effort

Tom Hintgen/FOCUS Alan and Judi Olson, of Century 21 Vista in Fergus Falls and Battle Lake, are spearheading a countywide effort to provide relief to East Coast residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Residents of Perham, New York Mills, Ottertail and other communities in Otter Tail County have the opportunity to help victims of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.

Auctioneer Rudy Butenas and his wife, Adele, of Pelican Rapids, will be donating their time at an auction to raise funds for the cause on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army Auditorium in Fergus Falls.

"Cash donations, in addition to auction items, are most welcome," said Judi Olson of Century Vista 21, Battle Lake, who is spearheading the effort with all area Century 21 agents. "Checks can be made out to the Salvation Army."

Items for the auction may be dropped off at a large truck located at Century 21 in Fergus Falls, at 405 West Lincoln Avenue. Donors of auction items are reminded to come into the Century 21 office to obtain a receipt.

They emphasize that 100 percent of the proceeds, through the Salvation Army, will be donated to people on the East Coast who have the greatest need following the hurricane and subsequent snowstorm.

"No auction item is too big or two small," said Judi Olson. "Several years ago, when we held a similar type of auction to help people in Ethiopia, we had a woman donate a pie that was auctioned off for $23. Kids can also get involved this month, by auctioning off a certain amount of time for cleaning windows, rakings leaves, shoveling snow or you name it."

Alan Olson, of Century 21 Vista of Fergus Falls, said the goal also is to involve many organizations from throughout the county, including churches, schools, fraternal organizations and businesses.

"With the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, it's the perfect time to give back," he said. "Many people are homeless on the East Coast. This, in itself, drives home the point that we who live here in Otter Tail County can and should help our fellow Americans in this time of need."

Judi Olson says she's encouraging employees of other Century 21 offices, all across the nation, to also spearhead fundraising efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy in their areas of the United States.

"Those who want to donate can submit new, collectible or saleable items for the Nov. 17 auction," she said. "We're confident we'll have support with auction items and checks from a wide area of Otter Tail County."

For more information, contact the Olsons at 218-205-8543 or 218-205-7128.