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First Step gala event exceeds expectations

First Step Family Support Center held its first Midnight In Paris fundraising dinner and auction at C'est Si Bon in Port Angeles on March 21. Sponsored in part by First Federal and 7 Cedars Casino, the event featured a silent auction, several raffles, a live auction and a meal.

The event exceeded the agency's hopes with a final tally of more than $32,000.

Popular auction items included a private reception with New York Times best-selling author J.A. Jance, a trip to Victoria, a year of massages from Renaissance, a golf and dinner package at The Cedars at Dungeness, a scenic flight and lunch package, and a private Thai cooking class with Som Smith.

According to event committee chairwoman and board member Trudy Robbins, "The First Step inaugural fundraising event 'Midnight in Paris' was not only a huge success but an incredibly fun evening, from the time attendees opened the door and were greeted by a smiling AmeriCorps volunteer to the bid on the last live auction item.

"The support for this amazing agency was overwhelming. I am very proud that we were able to put on such a successful event but I am even more proud of the generosity shown to the families of Clallam County by their donations to First Step Family Support Center. We live in an incredible community! Thank you to all who contributed and to all who attended the event. We're already looking forward to next year!"

Event proceeds will support First Step Family Support Center programs and its new community services facility. The new center ground-breaking ceremony is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 14, followed by a celebration barbecue. The public is welcome to attend.

First Step has provided support and education services to thousands of local families as part of the agency mission to promote the healthy development of local families for more than 30 years. In 2008, it served 4,478 primarily low-income adults and children. The agency goal is to provide innovative and family-centered programs to meet the needs of parents and their children in a respectful and responsible manner. First Step believes parents are critical to young children as they are their child's protectors, first teachers and emotional home.

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