Roman conquerors, Egyptian pharaohs, pirates, movie stars and even a few Klingons spent the evening together during the 24th-annual Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce dinner and auction.
The Hollywood-themed event, which took place on April 4 at Camp Huston in Gold Bar, included live and silent auctions, dessert auction, a raffle and costume contest. The event was considered a success, especially by Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Copple and her husband, Brian, who serves as the chamber board president.
While the evening featured many unique and festive costumes, none were quite as inspired as Debbie and Brian's costumes, who hosted the event while decked out as Klingons. Brian, who decided to take an authentic approach, delivered his entire speech in the Klingon language.
"This was something special,GÇ¥ said Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce volunteer Elizabeth Emmons. "Props to Debbie ' she could have gone all glam; instead, she let her Trekkie husband take the wheel in the costume department. That's love!GÇ¥-á
Brian gave himself a crash course in the Klingon language by watching "Star Trek movies.-á The chosen language of "Star Trek'sGÇ¥ alien species was introduced briefly in "Star Trek: The Motion PictureGÇ¥ in 1979 and was further developed for "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,GÇ¥ which came out in 1984. The language has become a bit of a phenomenon among "Star TrekGÇ¥ enthusiasts.-á
Each year, the dinner auction event serves as the chamber's primary fundraiser. While many chambers are funded with a portion of the lodging tax collected by both cities and counties, the Sky Valley Chamber is fully self-supporting. Funds raised at the auction help to pay expenses at the Sky Valley Visitors Information Center in downtown Sultan and promote the Sky Valley as a destination. The funds also support numerous community and networking events sponsored by the chamber throughout the year.
Debbie provided translation services during Brian's speech.
"Brian Copple would like to extend his sincere thanks and appreciation for your support of the Sky Valley and the Visitors Information Center,GÇ¥ Debbie said. "As you know, our Visitors Information Center is not tax-funded. We are completely self-sustaining, and the event this evening is going to be covering overhead for the Sky Valley Visitors Information Center, so that we can continue the important work we are doing.GÇ¥
Each year, the chamber adopts a specific theme and guests are encouraged to come in costumes that somehow represent the theme.-á
"We know we have to fundraise, so we figure we might as well make it fun,GÇ¥ Debbie said.-á
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA 1st District), who attended the event with her husband, Kurt, was presented with a hand-crafted poster signed by numerous members of the Sky Valley community. DelBene has long been an advocate for the Sky Valley area, working to promote and enhance the area's outdoor recreational opportunities and to help boost economic development in the region.
DelBene spoke briefly at the event. She emphasized the importance of supporting outdoor recreation, an industry that generates more than $21 billion a year in Washington state and supports close to 200,000 jobs.-á -á
"I always say I have the most beautiful district in the country, and I didn't even know I represented Klingons,GÇ¥ DelBene said. "We have an incredible opportunity right here with this beautiful, beautiful space we have.GÇ¥-á
Debbie thanked the auction guests for attending and thanked DelBene for her advocacy.-á
"This is not a political event, but this is an event to honor the people who contribute to the Sky Valley in every way,GÇ¥ Debbie said. "Congresswoman DelBene is one of the first federal representatives who has really and truly paid attention to the Sky Valley and understands who we are and what we're trying to become.GÇ¥-á
The Sky Valley Chamber auction was sponsored by Coastal Community Bank, Everett Community College, NAPA Auto Parts Monroe Parts House, Wagley Creek Automotive and Werner Paddles. Dinner was provided by Bubba's Roadhouse in Sultan.-á
For more information on the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce, visit www.skyvalleychamber.com. -á