Kiwanis online auction tops last year’s total

Duane Hicks

The 31st-annual Kiwanis auction proved to be successful again last week, raising about $5,700 for the local service club.
Held for a second year on Internet auction site, as opposed to the local cable TV station, Kiwanian Shanda DeGagné-Begin, who chairs the auction planning committee, said the new format seems to be working well.
“We had more bidders this year, which means more people are finding out about it and willing to place bids,” she noted.
“I think every year is a bit of a learning curve for everybody.”
Last year’s inaugural online auction raised $4,400.
DeGagné-Begin said she’s grateful to all of the district businesses—and bidders—who supported the auction once again.
“It’s all local, and the people know that, so they bid substantially well,” she remarked.
“We were pleased with how things came back.”
Bidding opened Sunday, May 2 and closed at 5 p.m. this past Saturday (May 8), with bidding ending on some items at various times throughout the final day.
The Kiwanis’ eBay store featured a total of 133 items up for bid, which is about 50 more than last year’s inaugural online auction.
These ranged from a rocker recliner, Budweiser bar and stool set, suit, shirt and tie, watches, standing clock, decorative granite wall plaque, windows, computer printer, golf bag, T-shirts, an ice-fishing rod, bed in a bag, and framed prints to a stay in a jacuzzi suite, die-cast collector’s tractor, kitchen counter top, a concrete seat, ribeye steaks, car wash tokens, and a kitchen faucet.
Also up for grabs were gift certificates for many things, including (but not limited to) dinners at local restaurants, paint, laundry services, Internet services, housecleaning services, dance lessons, tanning, coffee, hair care, 18 holes of golf, tackle, and landscaping.
The auction saw well over 1,000 bids in total over the week. There were 69 different winning bidders, meaning most people won more than one item, with some people “substantially more” than others, noted DeGagné-Begin.
Auction winners are reminded they can pick up and pay for their item(s) at Lidkea Optometry Services here this week, if they haven’t already paid online, she added.
While future auction plans will be discussed amongst the Kiwanis membership, DeGagné-Begin personally felt the online format is a good way to hold an auction that reaches people across the district, with minimal to no cost and not a great demand on volunteers.
“I think it’s something we would look towards again in the future,” she noted.
The auction is the club’s second-biggest fundraiser of the year behind its “Trip of the Month” draw.
The local Kiwanis Club contributes to numerous causes, including Sunny Cove Camp, the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, district 4-H, “Fishing for Futures,” summer programs at the Fort Frances Public Library, high school bursaries, and high school and elementary school projects.
It also supports Northwestern Health Unit projects, the “Relay for Life,” “Meals on Wheels,” the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts, Fort Frances “Community Chest,” and the Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle and “Adopt-a-Family” programs.