Pullman Chamber of Commerce’s 43rd annual Cabaret fundraiser to be held March 25

This year’s fundraiser includes dinner and two auctions; community members encouraged to get involved



Pullman Chamber of Commerce’s Cabaret in March 2022.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor

The Pullman Chamber of Commerce’s annual Cabaret Fundraiser will be held at 5 p.m. March 25 this year at the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory Event Center.

Marie Dymkoski, executive director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, said the event will include a dinner, a silent auction and a verbal auction. It is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization. Our only other real revenue stream is through membership dues. … It’s one of the oldest fundraisers in the Palouse,” Dymkoski said. “It’s generally a themed event where the males and females can both dress up. There’s not always a lot of opportunity to do that here.”

The Cabaret usually brings in around $55,000–$75,000 with few exceptions and includes about 150–200 items, she said. 

Dymkoski said the event will begin with the silent auction portion, where attendees walk around the tables with the items up for bid. 

“We’re looking forward to this year’s being full house capacity and raising a lot of money,” she said. “We did have it in March 2022. … We missed ‘20 and ‘21, so it was very important we had a good one last year.”

Some of the biggest sponsors for the Cabaret are SEL, WSU and Avista Corp., Dymkoski said. This year, the Cabaret is leaning towards a Kentucky Derby theme.

“We have a masquerade theme. We’ve had a 007 James Bond theme, so that changes,” she said. “We’ve always had a silent auction and a verbal auction, so that never really changes. The structure of the event doesn’t change.”

Dymkoski said at the moment, the Chamber is still gathering items to be bid on during the event. This involves  making calls to businesses who may want to showcase items for the event.

“In the past we’ve had trips to Mexico, we’ve had trips to parts of Utah. We’ve packaged WSU away football games for the verbal auction items,” she said. “The silent auctions can be anything from a basket from a business filled with promotional hats or t-shirts. So it can vary.”

McKenzie Brumet, SEL senior program manager, said SEL usually helps the Chamber with the Cabaret.

“We are a sponsor of the event,” Brumet said. “We donate the use of the SEL Event Center. We usually have a table at the event and we have a number of representatives from SEL who also attend.”

Brumet said SEL has been a member of the Chamber for over 25 years and has participated since then. This is her second year as a participating member of the Pullman Cabaret planning committee.

“For a number of years I’ve been attending the Pullman Chamber of Commerce Events,” Brumet said. “[SEL] have had donations for both the silent and the live auction in the past.”

One of the major figures involved in the Cabaret is Mayor Glenn Johnson, who sits on the Chamber Board and has MC’d the event for over 25 years. He began working with the Chamber as a volunteer, he said.

“We have a lot of the community donate prizes,” Johnson said. “It’s about 35% of our operation budget, so it’s very important. I have been fortunate to be the MC for a number of years.”

Johnson said help with the event is not limited to just business and emphasized members of the community can donate prizes as well. Those wondering how to donate for the event are advised to call the Chamber at 509-334-3565.

Those in the community seeking information about how to help out with the event can find more information on the Pullman Chamber of Commerce social media and website, Brumet said.

“We have businesses and we have community members who all donate. That helps us with our auction and that helps us with our income,” Johnson said. “It’s not just business, it’s the whole community who can participate in the event.”