(bellevuereporter.com, Nov. 14, 2008, Stephanie Small)
Bestselling author J.A. Jance is known for her mysteries. But there’s no mystery in her support of the World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), which is holding its annual fundraising auction in Bellevue on Nov. 22.
WACAP is one of the premier child adoption agencies in the state – and United States. In fact, Jance, an Issasquah resident, is the grandmother of two children adopted from Chima through WACAP. One was adopted five years ago, the other two years ago.
“From the perspective of a grandmother, I hold a high opinion of WACAP as an adoption organization,” Jance said.
To help the organization, Jance is donating a home-cooked dinner for six at this year’s auction. The event is being held at the Bellevue Hilton.
Other auction items include vacation packages, golf packages, a puppy and even a tugboat trip to Alaska.
Auction chair Barbara Manning, who’s a WACAP parent and on WACAP’s Board of Directors, says they hope to raise over $300,000 during the auction.
“It’s about what we’ve done in past years, so I feel it’s very reasonable,” she said.
This year’s auction theme is “A Passport to India,” and auction items as well as festivities reflect this theme. Items include a trip to India and henna tattoos.
WACAP began its adoption and humanitarian aid of children in 1976, and since then has placed more than 9,600 children into adoptive homes. They’ve also provided humanitarian aid to more than 200,000 children in 10 countries, which is why Manning and her husband chose WACAP when they decided to adopt in 2002.
“We found WACAP’s services to be well-established, and were very pleased to be involved with an organization that provided not just adoption services but children’s humanitarian aid as well,” she said. “The adoption process went very smoothly.”
Thanks to WACAP, Manning has two daughters from China, ages 5 and 1. She was approached to join the board of directors in 2007, and felt as though it was the right thing to do at the time.
“I feel so strongly about this organization that I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to become involved,” Manning said.
As the auction’s chair, Manning works closely with everyone in the company, including Julie Snyder, WACAP’s communications manager. Having been with WACAP only since April, this is Snyder’s first auction. She chose to take the position, though, based on her passion for helping children.
“The fact that they help children in any way that they can makes WACAP a very appealing job for me,” she said.
Snyder’s aspect of the auction deals with public promotion of the event. Though the auction is open to the public, it is a ticketed event: Tickets range from $125 to $250. Snyder and Manning hope to have at least 400 people in attendance.
“Anything over 300 though will be something to be excited about,” Snyder said.
For author Jance, auctioning off a dinner in her home is her way of saying thank you to an organization that has helped so many.
“It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
To contact WACAP or find out more about the auction, visit www.WACAP.org