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Charity auction gives back to the city of Cabo

Three items and cash donations provide $21,000 to local children's center

THE WINNERS OF THE AUCTION were Mel and Judy Ostberg. They bid $7.000 for the one-of-a-kind carving of tunas jumping off Cabo created from a 500-year-old oak stump by renowned artist David Wirth. Recently the carving and its stone base were delivered from Cabo to WON headquarters in San Clemente, and then down to the Ostberg's waterfront home just north of Ensenada. PHOTO BY PAT McDONELL

The highlight of the awards dinner the final night came when Tournament Director Pat McDonell auctioned off wood sculptor David Wirth's yellowfin tuna carved from a piece of live oak. It was one of three items and cash donations to the childrens center Los Ninos Del Capitan in Cabo.

McDonell had toured the facility several days before and told the audience the nonprofit facility established in 2000 provides medical, dental and psychological services for over 120 children from the ages of 1 to 5, nearly all whose have single working mothers.

Wirth also addressed the crowd, pointing out eloquently that the oak in its life fed a lot of people over 500 years being in Indian country in the back hills of Temecula CA.

"This tree fell over in a storm and died, but now I feel like I've brought it back to life in another form," he said. "and now it will provide food and shelter for others in its new life." The money will be used to buy milk throughout the year for the children, and to build a small playground.

The magnificent sculpture earned a record bid of $7,000 for the children's center Los NiÃ’os del Capitan, thanks to Mel and Judy Ostberg.

A luxury trip for two donated by Chuck Baird of Waterfall Resort in Ketchikan, Alaska earned another $5,000 when Curt James stepped to the plate.

The first item to be auctioned off was a piece of jewelry provided by Minerva and Bob Smith at Minerva's Tackle, and it actually earned $8,000, the most money for the charity as Jamie Greer's Ni Modo team, which weighed in that 318-pound tuna and won over $152,000, kicked in $5,000. In fact, Greer just gave the piece back for another auction, and Mark Austin's bid topped out $3,000.

In addition to cash donations from those attendees who came up to the Los Ninos del Capitan officials at the table, at least $21,000 was raised for the center.