Houlton Rotary Radio, TV Auction begins Monday

Nancy Ketch, Special to The County
10 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The 59th annual Houlton Rotary Radio and TV Auction will take place Monday to Wednesday, Nov. 24-26.
The event airs from 6-10:30 p.m. each night on WHOU Radio 100.1-FM and on Houlton Cable Channel 13. The auction is held at Watson Hall at the Episcopal Church on Main Street and the public is welcome to attend.

The auction is the major annual fundraiser for the Houlton Rotary Club. A supplement detailing the auction items for each half hour, special items, phone numbers and store room hours is in this issue of the Houlton Pioneer Times. The supplement sponsor for this year is Houlton Water Company. The information is also available on the Internet at www.houltonrotary.org. There will be links from the website to view the auction live on the Internet. Details will be provided on the site. This year’s online sponsor is Adult Eduction’s Business To Education.
Each year, the Rotary funds a major project or multiple projects, in addition to their many other charitable causes. The major project for the 2014 auction is funding the completion of the upgrades to the Just For Kids playground at Community Park.
Funds will also be used to support the Backpacks For Kids Project, which provides food for children and to purchase new hoses for the Linneus Fire Department. Other projects that will benefit from auction proceeds include Dollars For Scholars, Cary Library, Rotary Youth Exchange, Student Recognition Day, Dominican Water Project and the Salvation Army.
The auction will feature a list of items for bid on each half hour (nine half hours per night). Bidding on these items is only accepted during their individual half hours with the high bidder being awarded the item at the close of the half hour’s bidding. Corporate sponsors for each night of this year’s auction are Coastline Homes, Madigan Health Care Services and Severson, Hand and Nelson. Items featured in the half hours include homemade foods, gift certificates, oil changes, potatoes, hand crafted items and a selection of other merchandise.
Nightly special items are also available. These items may be bid on throughout a given night. Successful bidders at the close of each night will be awarded these items. The nightly special items include laminated strand lumber, a remote car starter, cedar fencing, a coffee brewer, a John Deere plastic pedal riding tractor, a leather jacket, hand-crafted items, a member share at the County Co-op, wood pellets, hair treatment gift bag, cords of wood, loads of loam and gravel, a chainsaw, a hand made basket, a heated jacket, a snowmobile helmet, tuition, lifetime Fair passes, an area rug, a CB radio, a double faucet set, a Trollbeads bracelet, jewelry, photography, golf lessons, 20 circuit electrical panel, Christmas trees with $100 in scratch tickets, a furnace tune-up, Vera Bradley sunglasses, advertising packages, gift certificates and a variety of other items.
There are also three-night special items, which will be featured throughout the auction and this year range up to $14,900.
The three-night specials this year include an 18-foot by 24-foot camp package from Ward Log Homes, a chimney liner kit installed, a washer and dryer, a truckload of firewood, cherry antique flooring, bundles of OSB, a rifle, a vacuum, a recliner, a 55-gallon fish tank with hood, 100 gallons of fuel oil, 16 hours of carpentry, round-trip airline tickets, web banner advertising, a bench, a pampering gift basket, an air hockey table and an outdoors gift basket.
The successful bidders at the close of bidding on Wednesday evening will be awarded these items.
The total retail value of the items donated by area businesses and individuals is over $65,000 and add-on items are still coming in. Add-on items can be contributed by contacting a Rotarian. For this year’s auction, the retail values for all items as listed in the auction supplement have been rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
Bids can be made for any items by calling the Rotary Auction room at 521-5894. Those who live outside the local area, but are still in state, may call toll free at 1-844-685-1273. The Rotary Club is asking bidders to make minimum bids of at least 50 percent of the listed value for the items. Some items may carry a higher minimum, which will be indicated in the supplement. Bids will be taken in whole dollar increments to assist programming and tracking of bids. This year’s phone sponsor is Gardiner Health Care.
Individuals calling in give the Rotarian on the phone the item number they are bidding on and the amount of their bid along with their name and phone number. The bids are then posted on a status board. The status board will be available for viewing online. The bids are subsequently taken to the on-air auctioneers who will read the bids and indicate if they are high, low or even. The auction room and storeroom are both located at Watson Hall in the Episcopal Church on Main Street. The public is welcome to visit during the auction and there are often goodies to snack on. Bids can be placed from the auction room until three minutes before the close of each half hour. No bids are accepted from the auction room after the three-minute bell has been rung.
Successful bidders can pick up their items at the auction storeroom sponsored this year by the Katahdin Valley Health Center. The storeroom is open daily during the auction from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is open the two days following the auction. Specific hours are listed in the auction supplement. All items should be picked up by the close of the storeroom on Friday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m. The storeroom phone number is 521-5916.
When picking up items, individuals are encouraged to give their name to the storeroom clerk and bring a list of their item numbers with the amount of the successful bids to match up with the storeroom records. Items must be paid for in full at the time of pick up and payment must be by cash or check.
Members of the local Rotary Club run all aspects of the auction including serving as on-air auctioneers.  The Rotarian auctioneer schedule is as follows:
Monday — 6 p.m., Amy Hocking and Jane Torres; 6:30 p.m., Joyce Fitzpatrick and Andy Mooers; 7 p.m., Marguerite Lawler and Vicki Smith; 7:30 p.m., Paul Adams and Marty Bouchard; 8 p.m., Dana Delano and Jon McLaughlin; 8:30 p.m., Lori Weston and Rosa McNally; 9 p.m., Chris Anderson and Tony Bowers; 9:30 p.m., Ryan Bushey and Forrest Barnes; 10 p.m., Scott White and Travis Glatter.
Tuesday — 6 p.m., Amy Hocking and Jane Torres; 6:30 p.m., Jon McLaughlin and Lori Weston; 7 p.m., Paul Adams and Andy Mooers; 7:30 p.m., Scott Dionne and Jim Brown; 8 p.m., Major David Wetzler and Tony Bowers; 8:30 p.m., Torrey Sylvester and Forrest Barnes; 9 p.m., Dana Delano and Matt Nightingale; 9:30 p.m., Scott White and Butch Asselin; and 10 p.m., Paul Gentle and Leigh Cummings.
Wednesday — 6 p.m., Butch Asselin and Diane Hines; 6:30 p.m., Tammie Mulvey and Chris Nickerson; 7 p.m., Matt Nightingale and Paul Gentle; 7:30 p.m., Lori Weston and TBA; 8 p.m., Torrey Sylvester and Forrest Barnes; 8:30 p.m., Dana Delano and Jon McLaughlin; 9 p.m., Frank Thompson and Andy Mooers; 9:30 p.m., Scott White and TBA; 10 p.m., Amy Hocking and Jane Torres.
The auctioneer listing is subject to change.
Also part of the annual auction is the Boy and the Boot Endowment Program. Individuals may call in during the auction to pledge a Boy and the Boot statue.  The pledge represents a $1,000 contribution to the endowment fund of the Houlton Regional Health Services Foundation, which benefits local health care.  Some businesses also offer payroll deduction programs for the pledges.  At the completion of the pledge, the contributor receives a limited edition pewter replica of the Boy with the Leaking Boot Statue.
In addition, $500 worth of No. 2 fuel oil donated by Dead River Company will be raffled during the auction. Tickets for the fuel oil are available from any Rotarian and will be available at the auction. Tickets are $1 each or books of six for $5. The fuel oil will be delivered anywhere within the Houlton-Patten Dead River district. The drawing will be held during the final night of the auction.
The Houlton Rotary Club extends its thanks to all of the generous businesses and individuals who contributed items to this year’s auction and encourage the public to call in and enjoy the auction by bidding on the many items available.
Further information on the Rotary Radio and TV Auction is available by contacting auction chair Jane Torres, club president Amy Hocking or any member of the Houlton Rotary Club.