PI Rotary Club Auction surpasses special project goal
PRESQUE ISLE—The Presque Isle Rotary Club wrapped up its 65th annual Radio and TV Auction on a high note, raising more than $30,000 in regular auction proceeds and surpassing its $25,000 fundraising goal for its special project.
This year’s event was held on Tuesday, November 27, Wednesday, November 28, and Thursday, November 29, 2012, and broadcast live from the Northeastland Hotel. Auction Co-Chairs Ralph McPherson and Scott Violette and nearly 100 Presque Isle Rotarians participated in the 2012 auction, busily working on everything from taking in auction bids by phone to serving as auctioneers to filming the activity for local broadcast. Funds raised during the event benefited seven non-profit organizations in the region and the auction’s special project, Homeless Services of Aroostook.
The 2012 auction featured nearly 700 auction items—including 3-night special items, one-night special items, regular one-night items, and art auction items—generously given by more than 200 donors. The total value of these items was estimated at more than $50,000.
“Every year, I am amazed at how well the whole Rotary club comes together to make this a successful event. It really runs like a fine oiled machine and makes all the work leading up to the auction worth every ounce of effort,” McPherson said.
More than $27,000 was raised for Homeless Services of Aroostook as the special project. Those funds were earmarked for the purchase of new beds, bunk beds, and footlockers for the area’s homeless shelter. These new items will allow Homeless Services of Aroostook greater flexibility in stacking and moving beds, increasing their ability to reach full capacity. The footlockers will provide the facility’s residents with a place to store their clothes and personal belongings in a locked storage unit. The Sister Mary O’Donnell Shelter is the only emergency shelter north of Bangor and the only facility in Aroostook County established to provide shelter for the displaced and homeless.
In addition to the special project, the annual Rotary auction raised funds through its regular auction to benefit several local groups.
The Francis Malcolm Science Institute received $3,000 for the installation of state-of-the-art cove lighting within the planetarium theater. This new lighting will replace semi-operational, outdated cove lighting and enhance the quality of presentations while illuminating the theater for teacher/student interactions.
Hope and Justice Project received $2,500 for the purchase of five twin beds for its transitional house. These beds will be occupied by women and children who are seeking safe shelter from an abusive situation. The transitional house also provides advocacy and support in order to help rebuild and restore lives that have been affected by domestic violence.
Aroostook Huskies Football Club received $2,500 for the purchase of new football helmets in compliance with helmet manufacturers’ requirements that mandate helmets 10 years or older be discarded. These helmets will improve the overall safety of the youth by reducing the risk of head injuries and post-concussion syndrome.
Friends of Aroostook received $2,000 to help build and supply water to a Rimol Greenhouse that will provide fresh produce to soup kitchens and food banks throughout Aroostook County. The greenhouse will extend the growing season, making it possible to provide produce throughout the spring and fall.
Martha and Mary’s Ministries received $2,000 for the purchase of two replacement freezers and one refrigerator to provide adequate refrigeration and storage of all meats and produce that require cold storage. Martha and Mary’s Ministries is located in Presque Isle and serves meals to needy individuals and families. It is open Monday through Friday and there is no cost for the meal.
Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery received $1,000 for the purchase of four 3- by 6-foot display cabinets for its meetings and operations room. These cabinets will be used to display historical artifacts and documents from Maine veterans.
Presque Isle Historical Society received $1,000 to help refurbish “Molly the Trolley.” The Historical Society purchased the 1985 tour train for the purposes of city tours. The money will help refurbish the train by providing a back-up camera, public address system and cushions for the seating.
Another major component of the auction was the annual art auction. New for 2012, the Presque Isle Rotary Club partnered with the Wintergreen Arts Center on the effort, with all proceeds going toward children’s programming at the center. Up for bid at the 2012 auction were art pieces ranging from pottery and stained glass to paintings and fiber arts.
“We really need to thank the community at large for continuing to support the Presque Isle Rotary Club and our auction, all the people and businesses that made contributions and donations, and all the people who helped the auction reach its goals. It really says something about the community that we live in that so many generous people are willing to give to help out their neighbors, even when times are tough,” Auction Co-chair Scott Violette said.
The Presque Isle Rotary Club maintains a membership of approximately 100 individuals and is part of a world-wide organization of community volunteers. The slogan of Rotary is “Service Above Self” and the club seeks to live up to this ideal by supporting a variety of causes for the betterment of the community. For over 60 years, the Presque Isle Rotary Club has undertaken the annual Radio and TV auction as its major fundraiser. The club typically raises about $20,000 from auction items that supports various charities and non-profit organizations. Club members also take on a special project that generally raises about $20,000 each year and has raised as much as $220,000 in the case of the County Dialysis Center.
With the 2012 auction completely wrapped up, club members already are hard at work preparing for the 2013 auction, which will be held Tuesday to Thursday, Dec. 3-5.