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Shop for anything at auction

These wood items handmade by local artist Bob Hodges will be auctioned off at the Annual Lincoln County Rotary Auction. Hodges, who has had family members benefit from the Rotary Club’s low interest college loans, was happy to donate his work.
Jenny Walling / Lincoln Times-News

Those in need of burial plots, diamond rings or used cars need look no further than the annual Lincoln County Rotary Auction.
“You name it, and we probably have it,” said Gaye Howard, administrator of the Lincoln County Rotary Student Fund.
All the donated items will be auctioned off on April 1, 2 and 3 at the Citizens Center. Proceeds go to low interest student loans.
Those who prefer a quiet evening at home can watch the auction on television. It will air live on local cable channel 10, and viewers can call in to bid.
Those who go to the Citizens Center can enjoy a silent auction, bartering at the general’s store and joining in a half-and-half raffle.
“It’s like a circus atmosphere in there,” said Howard.
For those feeling hungry, the Rotary Cafй offers meals from local restaurants and a concession stand is also available. All profits go towards college loans.
“It definitely benefits Lincoln County,” said Howard. “When you’ve got an educated population, you have a better work force.”
Rotary Clubs in Lincoln County have put together auctions for the past 11 years. The Rotary Club has provided approximately 600 loans to 300 students.
So far, every loan applicant who met the requirements has been approved.
“We’re very lenient as far as qualifications go,” said Dean Lutz, auction chairman. “It’s not income based.”
One year the Rotarians found themselves $6,000 short. They pulled together to raise the money and even used some of the club’s general fund.
“We have quite a bit of demand,” said Lutz. “Luckily the auction does a good enough job, funded by the good people of Lincoln County, that we get enough money to basically fund all of our applications.”
Students going to a variety of schools have received loans from the Rotary Club including culinary schools, technical colleges and four-year universities.
Many of these students come back to Lincoln County to work.
Amy Jolley graduated from Appalachian State University with the help of Rotarian loans. She now works at the Register of Deeds Office.
“Without my education, I wouldn’t be able to be here,” said Jolley.
“I have two younger sisters, and my parents have to put them through school, too,” she said.
She doubts that her parents would have been able to afford to send them all without the help of the Rotary Club.
The Rotarians are proud of their cause.
“Anytime you can further your education you can’t go wrong,” said Lutz. “It just makes you a more well rounded individual.”
This year’s Rotary Auction includes three used cars, cowboy hats, baked goods, bird feeders, turned wood vases, designer sunglasses, model cars and the work of local artists.
Participants can even bid on a visit to the doctor’s office.
“There are all kinds of services from tooth whitening and bleaching to tanning packages,” said Howard.
The auction begins at 6 p.m. all three days, and the Rotary Cafй opens its doors at 5:30. There is cover price for the event.
Those interested in donating goods to the auction can contact Howard at 704-732-0867.by Sarah Grano

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