We’re talking cars, a boat, appliances, gift certificates, tools, and just about any other item imaginable up for grabs at a festive, day-long extravaganza.
We’re talking the 58th Annual Wauseon Rotary Auction, which opens its doors Saturday at 10 a.m. at Spangler Arena at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on State Route 108. And the doors won’t close until every one of thousands of available items is gone.
“There’s everything from A to Z out there. We grind away all day,” Auction co-chair Mike Murry said.
An estimated 1,000 visitors will enter the arena throughout the day to bid on items provided by both area merchants and private donors. The potpourri also includes a golf cart, loads of topsoil, decorative household items, toys, and two antique tractors, a 1953 Oliver 66 Row-Crop and a 1953 International Super M.
There will also be raffles for a diamond necklace and earrings, a handgun, a long rifle, and a Yeti cooler.
In fact, many visitors are astonished by the multitude of items presented by the event’s auctioneers, Murry said. They’re assisted by more than 50 Rotarian volunteers, who keep the bidding going in a festive, family-friendly atmosphere.
“Some people look forward to it, and they come every year and travel a ways” from around the tri-state area, he said. “Some people are there at eight o’ clock in the morning, and are there when we leave. There have been years where it’s (ended) midnight.”
Higher end items are usually auctioned beginning at 6 p.m. And the Rotarians continue to accept donations throughout the day.
Food will be sold throughout; this year’s menu includes ribeye steak sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, pie, and soft drinks.
A 17-year Rotarian and an auctioneer for Whalen Realty, Murry said the Wauseon Rotary Club puts on one of the organization’s more lavish auction events, and in turn uses the profits to benefit the community.
“We’ve probably completed the largest projects ever of any Rotary Clubs across the country,” he said, including Dorothy B. Biddle Park in Wauseon. “We’re very thankful for the general merchants for what they do, and all those others who have donated to make this event possible and a success.”
Much of the over $60,000 estimated in proceeds this year will be used toward Wauseon’s Indian Hill Trail nature and walking path created adjacent to the city’s Homecoming Park. Over the past several months the trail has been improved, expanded, and beautified to include extended pathways, hundreds of new trees, informative signage, and a wetland.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.