HOULTON, Maine — A time-honored tradition returns next week as the 63rd annual Houlton Rotary Radio, TV and Internet Auction is set for Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21.
A number of changes are planned for this year’s event. One of those changes is the hours for the event which will now air. This year’s auction runs from 6-9:30 p.m. each night ending an hour earlier than the past several years.
The auction will be aired on WHOU 100.1 FM and televised on both Spectrum Cable Channel 1302 and Pioneer Channel 100. It is also streamed on the Houlton Rotary Club’s website. The auction is held at Watson Hall at the Episcopal Church on Main Street and the public is welcome to attend.
Another new aspect for this year’s auction is that the periods will now run for only 20 minutes rather than a half hour. A total of 10, 20-minute periods will be held each night. The last period will run from 9:00-9:20. The ten minutes from 9:20-9:30 will be used exclusively to take bids for the nightly specials and 3-Night Specials.
“As a result of the shortened periods, the successful bidders will not be read on air,” explained Nancy Ketch, Houlton Rotarian. “The successful bidder lists will be posted on the Club’s website and Facebook page and will be featured in a “crawl” across the bottom of the screen for those watching on TV or on-line.”
Beginning one hour after the close of a period, people can call the storeroom number at 521-5891 to check on successful bidders. The first successful bidder list will be posted at 7:20 p.m.
A Facebook auction will again be a part of the overall event. This year, however, there will be a single Facebook auction that will run from Wednesday, Nov. 14 through Wednesday, Nov. 21. Those interested can search for Houlton Rotary Facebook Auction page to find the items and can bid by leaving a comment under the chosen item.
A listing of the Facebook Auction items is also included in the auction supplement in the 11-14 edition of the Houlton Pioneer Times.
“The Rotary Auction is the major annual fundraiser for the Houlton Rotary Club,” Ketch said. “Each year, a major project or projects are funded by the Rotary Auction in addition to their many other charities. The major projects to be funded from the 2018 auction are expansion of the playground at Mill Pond School and a Snack Shack for the Little League fields by Southside. Funds will also be used to support Putnam House, Health Services Foundation, Backpacks For Kids and Link For Hope Coalition. Other projects that will benefit from auction proceeds include Dollars For Scholars, Rotary Youth Exchange, Student Recognition Day and Little League.”
Items featured in the auction include homemade foods, gift certificates, oil changes, potatoes, hand crafted items and a selection of other merchandise. Nightly special items are also featured. These items may be bid on throughout a given night.
The nightly special items include Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), a grill, a fiberglass ladder, photography, chainsaw carving, lodging packages, health club membership, hand-crafted items, wood pellets, cords of wood, loads of loam and gravel, tuition, 20 circuit panel, Christmas trees with $100 in scratch tickets, furnace tune-ups and gift certificates.
There are also three-night special items which will be featured throughout the auction and this year range up to $16,500 in value. The three-night specials this year include an 18-foot by 24-foot logs-only camp package from Ward Log Homes, an ice shack, a chimney liner kit installed, bundles of OSB wood, 500 board feet of cedar paneling, a leather chair, a year of free coffee, 8 cords of long length firewood, a gun cabinet, a rifle, Nintendo Switch Gaming system with games, fuel oil, guitars, a motorcycle helmet, a saddle and advertising.
The retail value of the items donated by area businesses and individuals is over $65,000 and add-on items are still coming in, Ketch said.
Bids can be made for any items by calling the Rotary Auction room at 521-5894. Those outside the local area, but in state, may call toll free at 1-888-521-5894. 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.
The auction room is located in Watson Hall and the public is welcome to visit. Bids can be placed from the auction room until three minutes before the close of each period.
Successful bidders can pick up their items at the auction storeroom, located at Watson Hall in the Episcopal Church on Main Street. 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. 23, by 5 p.m. The storeroom phone number is 521-5891. 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. Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card.
For years, part of the annual auction has been the Boy and the Boot Endowment Program. People can, again, make a pledge to the fund during the auction. The pledge represents a $1,000 contribution to the endowment fund of the Houlton Regional Health Services Foundation which benefits local health care. The $1,000 pledge is emblematic of $1,000 bequest by Clara Frisbee to the town in 1916 which was used to purchase the local Boy and the Boot statue.
In addition, Rotary is offering two additional opportunities for people to give. Pledges of $100 will be accepted to benefit this year’s designated programs. In recognition of the donation, contributors will be featured on a banner that will be displayed at Watson Hall where the Houlton Rotary Club meets weekly. Donors will also receive a special “Rotary Partner” pin.
Those wishing to help Cary Library can make a $25 pledge to purchase a book or books. The donor’s name will be placed on a nameplate in the front of the book to recognize the gift. Pledges for all three programs can be made by calling the Rotary Auction numbers.
A $500 certificate for heating has again been donated by Dead River Company and will be given away during the auction. Tickets are available from any Rotarian and will be available at the auction. Tickets are $1 each or books of six for $5.
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 auction contact auction chair Tracy Rockwell, club president Nate Bodenstab or any member of the Houlton Rotary Club. Information is also available at www.houltonrotary.org.