Rotarians taking 63rd Auction high-tech

14 years ago

Rotarians taking 63rd Auction high-tech

Merchants donate $50,000 in goods, services

By Scott Mitchell Johnson

Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of TAMC

ITEMS AT THIS YEAR’S ROTARY AUCTION include artwork . Pictured with the Rotary Art Wall located at TAMC are, from left: Jeff Pangburn, Rotary Auction co-chair; Gina Leblanc-Eggert, Rotary Art Auction tri-chair; Joy Barresi Saucier, Rotary Auction co-chair.

PRESQUE ISLE – Hoping to reach an even broader viewing audience, the Presque Isle Rotary Club’s 63rd annual Radio/TV Auction is going high-tech.
“This year, we’ll have a live streaming webcam of our quote board on our website (, and photos of our items posted on our Facebook page (63rd Presque Isle Rotary Club Radio TV Auction),” said auction co-chair Jeff Pangburn. “We’re trying to utilize all our options including social media.”
“The camera shifts from the auctioneers to a lot of other activities, and people like to see the quote board because they like to know where their bid is and how much they can move on that,” said Joy Barresi Saucier, auction co-chair. “By having the quote board on the website, people can watch that the whole time if they want to.”
The auction will be broadcast live from the Northeastland Hotel Nov. 30-Dec. 2 from 7-10 p.m.
Pangburn said this year’s auction will feature approximately 700 items from more than 230 donors valued at over $50,000.
“That’s a little higher than what we’ve gotten the last few years. We’ve got some really great three-night and one-night items that pushed that total value up there,” he said. “We have a pellet stove donated by S.W. Collins Co., a snowblower, donated by Katahdin Trust Co. and Harry’s Motor Sports; TD Bank and Lynox Welding Supply have given two portable infrared heaters, a storage building from Lowe’s, two Apple Ipads from MMG Insurance, a scooter from Griffeth’s Lincoln Ford Mercury/Griffeth Honda and North Street Auto, and much, much more. We’ve got a wide variety of items and things that people are going to look to buy.”
“The auction is a great way to find Christmas presents,” said Barresi Saucier. “We have a lot of gift certificates from a wide variety of businesses in the community and those are great stocking stuffers.”
The Presque Isle Rotary Club will be donating the auction proceeds to several worthy organizations including the Francis Malcolm Science Institute, the Northern Maine Museum of Science, C.A.N.C.E.R., Easton School Department, Northern Maine Veteran’s Cemetery, Mark & Emily Turner Library, and Aroostook Football.
“We had around 42 different applications at various funding levels for both regular auction proceeds and special projects,” said Pangburn.
The club has also selected Catholic Charities of Maine for this year’s “Special Project.” Funds will be used to repair the roofing on the food storage warehouse. Catholic Charities serves 24 food pantries in Aroostook County, impacting 40,000 people annually. They also partner with other agencies to serve as a distribution hub for orders from the Good Shepherd Food Bank and USDA Commodities.
“We brought in the top three Special Projects that we thought were the best fit for the club and invited them to do presentations,” said Pangburn. “Ultimately we selected Catholic Charities of Maine, which serves all of Aroostook County and beyond … their county-wide impact is really tremendous.”
“It’s always a difficult choice to make about which Special Project to take on,” Barresi Saucier said, “because there are many, many projects that fit the criteria. Right now, a lot of focus – because of the economy – is on basic human needs and I think that’s what makes this Special Project so unique … there are a lot of people that need this type of help.”
With nearly 100 members in the club, Pangburn said most Rotarians take part in at least some aspect of the auction.
“Every Rotarian helps solicit goods and services from the merchants that support our auction,” he said. “There are a lot of jobs to do during the auction. Some people are on-air auctioneers, others answer the phones, some hand-deliver the bids to the auctioneers, there are people who manage the quotes on the board, we have ‘peggers’ and ‘sorters’ which sort all the bids, and then we have people who call the winning bidders back. It takes every Rotarian to make it work; this really is a club initiative.”
“We also have people who are working on the Special Project,” said Barresi Saucier. “Then we have a committee for the set, others who are in charge of timing, lighting, directing the auction, plus we have a hospitality committee. It truly is a team effort.”
Pangburn said the club hopes to raise $35,000 from the auction itself, plus another $20,000 for the Special Project.
“I think it’s a very attainable goal,” he said. “Even though we have experienced some economic hard times over the past couple years, our area businesses have again supported us fully with some great items. A lot of new businesses have supported us, and we have lots of new items from our traditional supporters, as well. We were happily surprised at how supportive they were.
“When we get to the auction, people seem to really enjoy participating and supporting us,” said Pangburn. “I’m optimistic that we’ll meet our goal.”
Barresi Saucier agreed.
“The auction is a win-win-win-win situation for everyone. It’s a win for the community because 100 percent of the money raised from the auction goes back to the community through the projects we support, it’s a win for the businesses that donate items because they get great visibility out of the auction, it’s a win for the club because it’s part of our ‘Service Above Self’ concept where community service is one of the five types of service that we do, and it’s a win for those who watch or listen at home because they not only win through the bidding process, but they also win because they get some great values and because they’re supporting the community.”
In addition to the special and regular projects, funds from this year’s auction will also support many other community projects throughout the entire year through the Rotary Youth Fund, Scholarship Fund, General Fund, and World Community Service Fund.
This year the auction can be heard on Big Country 97 (96.9 FM) and seen on Time Warner Cable Channel 9.
Auction booklets with a complete listing of items were inserted in the Nov. 17 weekly newspapers and extra copies are available at participating local merchants.
Bidders can call 764-6181 or 1-866-902-2003. Successful bidders will be notified following the last half-hour of each evening. They can pick up their items at auction storeroom, which this year will be at the North Street Plaza, Suite 15, next to Pat’s Pizza.