West Lincoln Cheerleaders Kristen Crouse (left to right), Sheena Simpson and Cameron Young cozy up to a stuffed shark up for bidding at the Rotary Club Auction. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
Rotarian volunteers sped around the James W. Warren Citizens Center Thursday evening making sure everything was in place for the first night of auctioning.
â€œThis is the easy part, â€œ said Dean Lutz, chairman of the Lincoln County Rotary Auction.
â€œThe hard part was getting everything here and everything put together.â€
More than 700 items will be auctioned off during the event, which begin Thursday and continues through Saturday.
The auction starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. All the proceeds go towards low interest college loans for Lincoln County students.
Lamps, washers and dryers, bikes and assorted furniture filled up the backstage of the Citizens Center on Thursday night.
Up front, Charter Communications crew set up cameras for the auctionâ€™s live broadcast.
The auction was aired on channel ten, and participants watching from home could call in and bid on items.
â€œItâ€™s more fun being here in the Citizens Center than it is doing it by television,â€ said Richard Jonas, a volunteer. â€œThe auction is going on right in front of you.â€
Tim Carswell came to the auction in person, but his daughter had to stay home sick.
Even so, she made sure to get her opinions across, especially when a large shark stuffed animal came on her television screen.
â€œShe saw it on TV., and I promised her Iâ€™d get it for her,â€ said Carswell, holding the enormous shark.
â€œShe was excited, but we told her she had to share with her brother, and she wasnâ€™t too excited about that.â€
Most participants in the auction were looking for both gifts and items for themselves.
Knowing that all the money they spent went to a good cause made it easier to let the cash flow.
â€œThe reason weâ€™re here is that they have helped our daughter with a loan,â€ said Rhonda Saunders, a participant.
Saunders hoped to get that same daughter a sofa from the Rotary Auction as a wedding gift.
With the start of bidding, the mood in the Citizens Center changed.
â€œThe tension will start building,â€ said Gaye Howard, administrator of the Lincoln County Rotary Student Fund.
â€œThe adrenaline starts pumping once you start bidding on an item.â€
Rotary club volunteers still have two more five-hour nights of work in which hundreds of items will be auctioned off.
â€œI look forward to it every year, and then I look forward to it being over,â€ said Jonas.
The auction also has silent bidding, a Rotary CafÐ¹ and general store.
â€œSee anything you like, let me know. Weâ€™ll make a deal,â€ Rick McPhee, a general store volunteer from Bosch Tools, told participants.
The company donated $30,000 worth of items to the event.
The Rotary CafÐ¹, open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will offer food from local restaurants every night of the auction. All the proceeds go to low interest student loans.
Maggie Dollar, director of the Health Department, worked as a server at the cafÐ¹.
â€œIt was kind of fun to work on the other side of the counter,â€ said Dollar. by Sarah Grano