Annual Open House Benefits Local Charity

VanNatta: Event benefits Assistance League bike program

My final event of 2013 demonstrated that you don’t need to be a large organization at a large venue to host a charitable event. Interior designer Jillian Renner, CEO of Golden Rule Remodeling & Design, hosted an annual Christmas Benefit Open House on Dec. 13. She and marketing assistant Nicole invited me to join the rest of the company, friends and clients at their event this year. Guests from the community stopped by for appetizers, a glass of wine and some holiday cheer. This is the second year that Golden Rule has included a charity silent auction with the event. This year’s auction proceeds went to the Assistance League of Salem Auxiliary’s bike program.

When I arrived the reception area was filled with treats and auction items. I met Debra and Mike McDermott, who extoled the virtues of retirement, with tales of their fun travels. They caught up with Linda and Vince Castronovo. Nicole took pictures with a better camera than mine. She captured Ryan Renner, hanging out at the staircase. Lead carpenters, Karl Wear and Mike Langstaff, took a well-deserved break by enjoying the event.

Nicole, Karl Wear, Mike Langstaff and Jillian Renner attend Golden Rule Remodeling and Design Event to benefit the Salem Assistance League Auxiliary Bike Program. Mary Louise Vannatta / Special to the Statesman Journal

The auction was fun with items that fit the audience. Golf, wine and a private party at Deepwood Estates were featured with all proceeds going to the Assistance League. Linda Kubler and Mike McDermott checked on the bids for the tools. Before I left, I toured around the kitchen and had a quick chat with Cynthia Kok and Bruce Webb.

Guests recognized how providing bikes can offer youth ways to get to work and to enjoy after school activities. Cycling enthusiasts, Doug Parrow and Jackie Lefevre, from the Salem Bicycle Club were there. Renner told me that when two local families heard about the event, they donated four bicycles directly to the program.

The donations benefit the Independent Living Program, which provides household items for young adults who are transitioning out of foster care. Each year, along with The Bike Peddler, ALS Auxiliary distributes 25 to 30 bikes, locks, helmets and backpack to young adults who need transportation. To donate a bike or related items, email Becky Willhite at pieisameal@yahoo.com or call (503) 364-8318, or go to assistanceleaguesalem.org

Written by Mary Louise VanNatta

Written by Mary Louise VanNatta

To read this article on the Statesman Journal’s website, click here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *