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Three Ottertail civic organizations have started early on an event to raise funds for community projects and local charitable causes.

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With almost a year to go, the Ottertail Business Association, the Ottertail Lions and the Ottertail Rod and Gun Club have already set the groundwork for the "Ottertail Community Live Auction."

This is perhaps the first time that all three organizations have teamed up for a major joint fundraiser, according to city administrator Lee Sherman.

"They're looking at this as a new way to earn money for projects--with all of it going back to the community," said Sherman. "There is no financial gain for any of the clubs."

The unified approach is unique, he added, and is partly in response to the decline in lawful gambling proceeds. Like most gaming counters in communities across the state, sales and profits are down for the Lions and the gun club.

The event is scheduled for July 11, 2009, but already donation items are being solicited.

A donation form was presented at the August 7 Ottertail City Council meetings as an informational item.

Individuals, families and businesses are being asked to donate items for the community auction. Contact persons are Eric Doll and Ross Weber.

Organizers hope to have donations committed by April 1.

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