Going, going, gone – to college
Let the bidding begin at the 58th annual benefit auction sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA. Photos by Danny Vowell
Need a bowling ball? Maybe some country hams? How about Lasik eye surgery? Then check out the 58th annual benefit auction sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA.
Those were some of the items up for bid in last year’s auction, the proceeds of which go toward educational scholarships and low-interest student loans. In 2007, the six-night event raised about $308,000, according to 2006-07 club president Ted Jatczak. This year’s auction, which will again be broadcast live on two cable TV stations and local radio, will take place 21-26 April.
Since it started in 1951, the auction has generated more than $8.4 million to help almost 9,000 local students. The club grants annual loans of $3,000 at a rate of 1 percent for in-school students and 5 percent for adults who have stopped taking classes.
In 2007, businesses and residents donated more than 1,100 items, which ran the gamut from the practical (a haircut) to the exotic (a one-week stay on a sailboat in the Bahamas). At last year’s event, honorary club member William T. Turner, holding a three-week-old goat, stepped up to the microphone and requested donations for the Goat Club, founded in honor of a goat that was bought and sold 72 times during the club’s second auction, in 1952. Cash donations of up to $100 qualified donors for the Goat Club.
“I want to help generate the spirit of the auction for people to give more than they are giving right now,” Turner said.
One of the most memorable items auctioned off was a homemade, three-layer coconut cake that caught the attention of Hopkinsville resident Angela Mitchell, who said she just wanted to “help some child grow up and go to school.” After several rounds of bidding by phone, she bought the cake for $1,000.