Houlton Rotary Auction returns for 65th season

3 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Long-time Rotarians Nancy Ketch and Bob Blanchette hosted the Houlton Rotary Club meeting Monday, Aug. 10, and gave their annual “Auction Solicitation Training” via Zoom. Houlton Parks and Recreation Director Marie Carmichael was present as a guest.

The Houlton Rotary Club’s 65th Annual Auction will be held Nov. 23-25 from 6-9:30 p.m. at Watson Hall. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, the hall will not be open to the public this year, however, all other aspects of the auction are essentially the same for the public. Everyone is strongly encouraged to call in and bid on items. 

The motto “bid high and bid often!” still applies, perhaps more than ever. There will be many exciting auction items this year for all ages, including some new popular and requested items. It is a great way to do some Christmas shopping for friends and family members.

The Facebook Auction this year will be opened to the public on Nov. 15 at 8 am and closed Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. Bids will be submitted via comments on Facebook, and not by calling Watson Hall for the Facebook auction. 

The traditional auction will follow on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after the Facebook Auction.

The Rotary Auction helps to fund projects around the community each year. By participating in the auction either by donating or by bidding on items, you are helping to raise money and give back to your community, making it a more enriched place to live and work. The list of Rotary funded projects around this community is extensive. Some of the top projects include Derby Hil and the Soap Box Derby, Houlton Amphitheater, Just For Kids Playground, Riverfront Project, Cary Library, Putnam House, Houlton Elementary Basketball Court and the Temple Cinemas free matinees series.

“What would this town be without these amazing features,” Ketch said. 

Last year’s major funding project was the Houlton Parks and Recreation Cross Country Ski trailer and skis. This year, to piggyback off that community project, Rotary will be funding Houlton Parks and Rec Department to purchase a Snowmobile and Drag to create cross-country ski and snowshoe trails around the town. 

New, scenic trails will be developed off the existing Riverfront trail as well as trails around Houlton High School. Families and people of all ages can enjoy the great outdoors all winter with the skis and the trails.

Other funding projects for this year’s auction are Backpacks for Kids, Technology for Putnam House, Cary Library digital books, Hodgdon JMG Veterans’ Breakfast, Rotary Youth Exchange, Dollars For Scholars.

Businesses and individuals are encouraged to donate items or gift certificates, as this is a fantastic marketing opportunity. The more items that are donated, the more often a particular business is featured during the auction. 

“Businesses that donate are featured in the supplement, the internet, and may be featured on Facebook,” Ketch said. “It is a great way to get particular items recognized by the public. Donating gift certificates is an excellent opportunity to get customers into a business to shop for other items as well.”

Food and homemade items such as bread, whoopie pies and fudge usually go for more than 100 of their value because they are so popular. Any business or individual who is interested in donating items or being a sponsor can call Meg at 592-1476 or email at megscott1@live.com.