Attendees scan items at the McNary Athletic Booster Club Auction on Saturday, June 1 (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon Zaitz).

The McNary Athletics Booster Club held their eighth annual auction fundraiser and dinner on Saturday, June 1 at Log House Gardens at Willow Lake, raising more than $40,000.

All proceeds from this event go to support the athletic programs at McNary High School — including club sports like bowling and lacrosse. 

“It was a great night,” said booster club president Joe Egli. “It was a beautiful day and we had tons of people come out in support of McNary athletics.”

The auction featured popular items, like Trager barbeques, but also had sports memorabilia, tickets for the Portland Timbers and Oregon State athletics, cornhole boards, bark dust and many others.

While the auction is the booster club’s big fundraiser of the year, they have also been able to raise more than $70,000 over the course of the 2018-2019 school year with a number of different fundraisers.

The booster club runs the concessions stands at all McNary homes games and also sells sponsorships to local businesses who want to hang banners at the football and baseball fields, as well as in the gym.

About $15,000 raised every year goes to support kids at McNary that want to play a sport, but do not have the financial means — it costs students $175 per school sport.

“We just want to make sure that every kid that wants to play sports will be able to,” Egli said. “We do whatever the kids need.”

As for the rest of the money, the booster club spends it on whatever is needed for the McNary athletic program. 

Whether that is shoes, new wrestling mats, gym floor painting or new equipment, Egli and his 11 board members are willing to step up to the plate to provide. 

The booster club’s biggest contribution took place in 2015 when they raised over $400,000 for the artificial turf project at McNary. They also raised nearly $100,000 for the new McNary scoreboard, which was installed in 2018. 

“They are progressive and fast moving and wanting to get things done,” McNary athletic Scott Gragg said of the booster club.“They are closely tied with our community so they know what the heartbeat and the interests are of our community.”

While the booster club is almost exclusively used for athletics, they also put on a holiday bazaar in November that benefits not only the athletic program, but also the McNary JROTC program, as well as after school clubs. 

McNary athletics has been a big part of the Keizer community for many years now, and Egli wants to do all that he can to keep the success and the tradition alive and well. 

“Both my kids went to McNary and while they were there, the sports programs were doing well, so I just wanted to help those programs continue to grow and succeed,” Egli said. 

Additional photos from this event are available to view on the Keizertimes Facebook page.