Houlton Region

Houlton Rotary Club unveils auction plans

HOULTON, Maine — As the Houlton Rotary Club celebrates its 100th year of “Service Above Self,” the group has announced this year’s 65th annual Houlton Rotary Radio, TV and Internet Auction will look a little bit different this year.

The auction returns Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 23-25, offering a variety of items for sale by bid, just in time for the holiday season.

“In a year when so many things have been cancelled, we are really excited to be able to hold the auction,” Auction Chairwoman Meg York said.  

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, spectators will no longer be able to attend the auction in person, placing bids from inside Watson Hall. Nor will people be able to pick up their items from the auction storeroom in person.

Successful bidders will pick up their items this year through a drive-thru storeroom that will operate out of the parking lot of Watson Hall on the corner of Main and Winter streets. 

“Those arriving to pick up items will enter the parking lot through the Winter Street driveway,” York said. “Rotarians will be outside to assist them and items will be brought to their car.  Everyone is asked to remain in their vehicles and are encouraged to bring a list of their items to be reconciled with the master list.”

The storeroom will close at 5 p.m. on the days the auction is underway.  Full hours of operation for the drive-thru storeroom can be found in the Rotary supplement.  

The auction will be largely the same for those participating from home. The event will air from 6-9:30 p.m. each night on WHOU Radio 100.1 FM and will be televised on both Spectrum Cable Channel 1302 and Pioneer Channel 100. It is also streamed on the Houlton Rotary Club’s website.

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.  

The Rotary Auction is the major annual fundraiser for the Houlton Rotary Club.  A supplement detailing the auction items for each 20-minute period, special items, phone numbers, store room hours and other information is in the Wednesday, Nov. 18 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. This year’s online sponsor is Houlton-Hodgdon Adult and Community Education Maine College and Career Access Program.

Each year, a major project or projects are funded by the Rotary Auction in addition to their many other charities.  The major project to be funded from the 2020 auction is purchase of a snowmobile and cross country ski trail groomer to support the Houlton Recreation Department’s Winter Sports Trailer which was funded through auction proceeds a few years ago.  Funds will also be used to support the Putnam Houlton, Cary Library and Backpacks For Kids.  Other projects that will benefit from auction proceeds include Dollars For Scholars, Rotary Youth Exchange, Student Recognition Day and Little League.

A Facebook Auction is currently underway which will conclude on Sunday, November 22nd.  Those interested can search for Houlton Rotary FB Auction to find the items and can bid by leaving a comment under the chosen item.  

The retail value of the items donated by area businesses and individuals is nearly $63,000 and add-on items are still coming in.  Add-on items can be contributed by contacting a Rotarian.  

 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 1-844-934-5894.  

Pledges will again be accepted for the Boy & the Boot Endowment Program in addition to pledges for books at Cary Library or to directly support this year’s major project.  Full details are on the back page of the supplement.  

The Houlton Rotary Club extends its thanks to all of the generous businesses, farmers, organizations and individuals who contributed items to this year’s auction in what has been a very difficult year for many of them.  The club encourages the public to call in and enjoy the auction by bidding on the many items available.  

 Further information on the Rotary Radio, TV & Internet Auction is available by contacting auction chair Meg York, club president Katie Hill or any member of the Houlton Rotary Club.  Information is also available at www.houltonrotary.org.

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