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Playhouses to be auctioned to benefit at-risk youths

Thu., April 11, 2013

Eleven custom-built playhouses will hit the auction block on Saturday during Spokane’s Premier Home Improvement Show at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

A 12th playhouse will be raffled off the same day.

The playhouses were built and donated by local construction companies. Proceeds will benefit at-risk youth programs at West Central Community Center, Peaceful Valley Community Center and the Northeast Youth Center.

It was Kim Ferraro, executive director of West Central Community Center, who came up with the idea for the playhouse auction.

Ferraro had noticed a similar fundraising project for a hospital in Montana and decided to bring the idea to Spokane.

“I have dreams of making hundreds of thousands of dollars, but probably not this first year,” Ferraro told The Spokesman-Review when the playhouse project was announced in January, adding that she intends for this to become an annual event.

Programs for at-risk youth at the city’s community centers have been funded by the city’s general fund and the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Recent budget cuts have made other funding sources necessary.

“Developing new and diverse funding sources is critical to the sustainability of our community centers,” Councilman Mike Allen said. “We, along with business leaders and center executives, have come together to address this issue with an exciting and innovative project.”

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