The Alberni Valley Lions Club is gearing up for its 40th annual television auction this Saturday, Nov. 24, starting at 4 p.m.
There are 304 items ranging from hockey jerseys to toys, jewelry to tools, books, art supplies, gift baskets, kitchen and sporting equipment, home decorating supplies and the annual clothes dryer donated by House of Service.
“We almost always open with the J&L (gift certificate). This year we’re closing with tickets to a BC Lions game,” auction organizer Russ McLaughlin said. “In between the two are all kinds of things for the whole family.”
The TV Auction is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the proceeds from every 40th item will go towards three special kid-oriented programs in the Alberni Valley. The Lions hope to raise at least $2,700 from these specially selected items.
“The theme is ‘For the Kids’,” McLaughlin said. So it made sense to choose three programs.
The first is Under the Big Top, a joint effort between the city’s Parks and Recreation department and Mt. Arrowsmith Skating Club. The March 1 event will feature an afternoon show where every elementary school student will attend. An evening show will be open to the public for an admission fee. The Lions will donate $1,000 towards the elementary students’ tickets.
Ron Doetzel, manager of recreation services for the city, will be a guest auctioneer for part of the special items.
The second kids’ program is Coats for Kids. Cathy Cross at the community school and her volunteers solicit donations of gently used coats, which are distributed to students who need them. The Lions annually donate $1,000 towards cleaning and repair of the donated coats.
The third is the annual Lions’ Bullhead Derby, which takes place during Salmon Festival weekend in September.
The Lions put on their first auction in the gymnasium at Eighth Avenue Elementary School. From there they moved to the Shaw TV studios, “but it got to be too small,” says Don Hudson, a member of the organizing committee.
The auction moved to Glenwood Centre five years ago; Shaw TV still televises the event and lends the Lions the telephone system as well.
The Lions Club is grateful for all the support it receives from Shaw, Tom Hall said. “Without Shaw’s television broadcasts and now their telephones, there would be no auction.”
The Lions raised $13,000 last year, and are hoping to raise at least that this year. “Our best year ever was $16,000; that was before the downturn in the economy,” Russ McLaughlin said.
You can check out the auction items online at avlionsauction.com. There is a photo of each item as well as its value and donor.
The phone lines will be open at 4 p.m. for pre-bids. At 4:15 p.m. the show goes live and the auctioneers come out and give viewers instructions on how the auction will proceed. Live bids start at 4:30 p.m.
To bid on any item included in the TV Auction, please call 778-421-3108.