ASTORIA - If the quilts are being hung and the BBQs fired up, it's time for the annual Lower Columbia Hospice Picnic and Auction. On Wednesday, July 12, the Astoria Lion's Club will BBQ salmon and oysters for the picnic.

Silent auctions will close at 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the oral auction starting at 7 p.m. The event is alcohol free and will be held at the Clatsop County Fairground.

The entire community is invited to the picnic and auction that is the major fundraiser for Lower Columbia Hospice, a program of Columbia Memorial Hospital. LCH provides hospice care to people throughout the Lower Columbia area. Hospice is a multidisciplinary service providing comfort care to those who are terminally ill. LCH has been providing hospice services to since 1981. Additionally, since 1999, LCH has owned and operated a licensed adult foster home in Warrenton commonly known as "Hospice House" that provides 24-7 supervised care to hospice patients.

There will be entertainment by the Brownsmead Flats, a contest for the best depiction of Johnny Cash, four auction venues, and children's activities. Chances for a raffle for a trip to anywhere in the continental U.S. with two airline tickets and a $1,000 hotel/activity package is available for $20/ticket the night of the auction or at the LCH office at 486 12th Street in Astoria.

Stokes Auction Group will supervise the bidding for the oral auction at 7 p.m. Donations include Pendleton Round-Up tickets, paragliding, sailboat racing, overnight packages at local inns, hotels, and condos, in addition to fine art, camping equipment, toys, jewelry, a Tiny Spencer Mastodon-handle specialty knife, outdoor furniture and dinners at local restaurants. As in past years, numerous quilts made by community members will be available in all the auctions.

The dinner starts at 4:30 p.m., children's activities start at 7pm. Dinners cost $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12. There is no admission fee to participate in the auction. Monies raised support hospice's child bereavement program and to defray expenses at the hospice house. For more information please call the Lower Columbia Hospice office at 503-338-6230.

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