Silent Auction raises matching funds for library radio production studio
Amazing things can happen when community members come together to work toward a common goal.
Gibbs Kinderman, director of special projects for Allegheny Mountain Radio, announced in January that the Snowshoe Foundation had granted $1,500 toward the costs of a radio production studio to be located in the Hillsboro Library. The grant stipulated an additional $1,500 be raised and contributed by the community.
When informed at their January meeting of the need for the matching funds, the Hillsboro Library Friends (HLF) decided to host a Silent Auction at the Library on Friday February 18. Mary Moore McLaughlin, an antiques dealer and owner of The Briar Patch in Hillsboro, agreed to organize the auction. The HLF hoped to raise at least $500.
A HLF subcommittee was formed and went to work. Word about the auction spread over the internet, the telephone, the radio, and friend to friend: auction items were needed, along with entertainment, refreshments and volunteers to manage it all. Fliers with details of the event were posted in area businesses and at the library.
The community responded with an outpouring of enthusiasm and generosity. Calls came into the library, offering donations and volunteer time. Items for auction began to appear in the library's community room, first a few, then many more. Individuals donated a wide variety of treasures: beautiful creations handmade from fabric, wood, leather and yarn; valuable antiques; fun toys; attractive jewelry; extraordinary works of art; interesting books. Local businesses also contributed: free night's lodging at the Hillsboro House Bed and Breakfast and Watoga State Park; a lovely painting from Taylor's Store; "fat quarter" baskets from Little Levels Treasures and Gifts.
During a "silent" auction, bidders sign in and are given a number. Beside each auction item is a form on which bidders write their number and the amount of their bid. Anyone can bid on anything, and bid repeatedly, so bidders have to keep checking the amounts, and increasing their bids, on items they really want.
Everything was organized and ready for bidding when the Library opened at 10 a.m. Friday. Throughout the day, bargain hunters, serious bidders and the merely curious perused the items, expressed delight in the quality and quantity, and vowed to return.
A reception and auction finale began at 5:30 p.m. Music was provided by Bill Hefner, Richard Hefner and Doug Scott. Bidders enjoyed the festive food and beverages, and visited with friends and neighbors while marking their bids. The mood became even more lively as the bidding deadline of 7 p.m. approached.
Some items sold for as little as $1. The highest bid was $100 for an antique coffee grinder. When the total was tabulated at the end of the night, more than $1,000 had been raised.
The next WVMR Radio Hillsboro fundraising event is an Open Mic Day at the Pretty Penny Cafe in Hillsboro, scheduled for Sunday, February 26. If the silent auction was any indicator, by the end of the day the community will have raised the matching funds needed for the radio production studio, strengthening its interconnections in the process.