LACONIA — The tables in the auction items room at the Opechee Conference Center, site of the 33rd annual Children's Auction, resembled Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard by late afternoon on the first day of the auction.
The tables were close to bare, which isn't all that uncommon on the first day of the auction according to Sandy Marshall, one of the directors of the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children, a nonprofit corporation which earlier this year took over the auction.
"It's always slow to start with. A lot of people like to drop by with their donations and get into the spirit of the season. It's fun to be a part of it and they like to drop in and see what's going on." said Marshall.
"There's a big need for auction items," said Marshall, who encouraged donors to stop by with their items or to call 293-4700 to let auction officials know what they'll be donating.
Warren Bailey, a familiar voice and face at the auction, who started the ball rolling for the very first children's auction on radio station WLNH over three decades ago, was one of those taking part in the opening day, which was telecast by Lakes Region Public Access Television on TV Channel 25 Metrocast. It is also being carried by Channel 12 Metrocast and broadcast live on FM stations, 104.9 The Hawk and WZEI 101.5, the auction's new radio partners..
Bailey said that he is glad to see the auction now being run by a community organization. "That was my dream since year one. It's amazing to think that it's raised over $4 million over the years."
He said that in recent years the auction has has become something of a year-round phenomena, thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support for Pubmania, which was launched by Patrick's Pub several years ago and involves over 700 people on 30 different teams who run fundraising events throughout the year for their team.
"It's made the auction a rallying point for he community and has taken it to a whole new level," said Bailey.
Some 61 charities have applied for support from the auction with requests totaling $580,000.
Last year the auction raised $486,575, with nearly half of that coming from Pubmania.
The auction runs through Saturday Dec. 12; from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit the auction's website at www.childrensauction.com.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 220