The 51st annual Kiwanis Fall Auction and other donations raised at least $21,406, smashing the previous record, according to Dean Owen, president of the Kiwanis Club of Olds and District.
Owen says the auction itself, held Dec. 7 at the Olds Legion, raised $18,606. He believes the previous record, raised a year or two ago, was about $16,000. His understanding is that cash and cheque donations brought in $2,800. So with the money raised during the auction, the total as of last week was at least $21,406.
“(We’re) very thrilled,” Owen says. “The community came together to support what Kiwanis does.”
Dale Mackie, the main coordinator for the auction, along with co-chair Murray Elliott, says donations of items and services totalled more than $43,000, another record as far as he knows.
Mackie says last year, the auction raised about $14,000. He agrees to go from that figure to more than $21,000 in just one year is a big jump.
“The generosity was amazing,” he says.
Owen says they not only had more people bidding than before (the event went longer than usual because of that) but they also received more items than ever for auction from the business community.
He wonders if the success of the auction this year is a sign that the community is rebounding from the economic downturn that began in 2014 when the price of oil crashed.
Owen notes that some people buy Christmas presents via the auction, so perhaps moving the date closer to Christmas was a factor in the larger turnout. He also wonders if the economy is actually turning around now.
“We figure timing had something to do with it. And maybe the economy is a little better off than we think,” he says.
Owen says this year, at the suggestion of Rosehill Auction Service Ltd., the company that has auctioned off items for the club every year, the date was moved from the last week of November to the first week of December, thereby enabling the company to provide a larger number of auctioneers to help out.
The Kiwanis Club of Olds supports a variety of causes in the community, including playgrounds, Scouts, 4-H speaking competitions and Breakfast For Learners at Ecole Deer Meadow School. They also support the Kiwanis music festival and entertainment at the TransCanada Theatre. Owen notes they also cut cheques to support many local charities and non-profit groups.
“(We’re) very thrilled. The community came together to support what Kiwanis does.”DEAN OWEN PRESIDENT KIWANIS CLUB OF OLDS AND DISTRICT