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Houlton Rotary Auction returns for 66th annual shopping tradition

HOULTON, Maine — The 66th annual Houlton Rotary Radio, TV and Internet Auction returns Monday, Nov. 22, for three nights of shopping extravaganza.

The event airs Nov. 22-24 from 6-9:30 p.m. each night on WHOU Radio 100.1 FM and will also be televised on both Spectrum Cable Channel 1302 and Pioneer Channel 100. It is also streamed on the Houlton Rotary Club’s website and Facebook page as well as on the WHOU Facebook page. 

The auction is held at Watson Hall at the Episcopal Church on Main Street, but unfortunately the hall will not be open to the public again this year because of COVID-19 concerns.  

There will be ten 20-minute periods beginning at 6 p.m. The final period runs from 9-9:20 p.m. The ten minutes from 9:20-9:30 will be used exclusively to take bids for the nightly specials and 3-Night Specials.  

The successful bidder lists will be posted on the Club’s website. Successful bidders will pick up their items at the storeroom located at Watson Hall, which is sponsored this year by J McLaughlin Construction.

A drive-thru option will again be available in the parking lot. Those arriving to pick up items will enter the parking lot through the Winter Street driveway. If visiting the storeroom in person, patrons are asked to park on the Winter Street side of the lot. If taking advantage of the drive-thru service, people can remain in their vehicles and give their name to the Rotarian who greets them. The items will then be brought to the car. 

Everyone is 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 supplement. 

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, storeroom hours and other information is in today’s 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 web site to view the auction live on the Internet.  Details will be provided on the site.  This year’s internet sponsor is Houlton-Hodgdon Adult & Community Education (HHACE) Maine College & 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 projects to be funded from the 2021 auction is the extension of the Meduxnekeag River Walking Trail. Funds will also be used to support Backpacks For Kids, Northern Maine Lacrosse, Jobs For Maine’s Graduates, a new Community Garden at HRH, Cary Library and Literacy Programs.  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, Nov. 22. 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 over $75,000 and add-on items are still coming in.  Add-on items can be contributed by contacting a Rotarian.  

Bids can be made for any item by calling the Rotary Auction room at 207-521-5894.  Those outside the local area, but in-state, may call toll-free at 1-866-521-5894.  

Pledges will again be accepted for the Boy and 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 another 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 and Internet Auction is available by contacting auction chair Steven Fitzpatrick, club president Meg York or any member of the Houlton Rotary Club.  Information is also available at www.houltonrotary.org.

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