Packed house at Kinsmen live auction fundraiser

“The money that we raise is going to go into the community.” Ken Groot, President of the Kinsmen Club of Ponoka

Participants at the third annual live auction fundraiser, hosted by the Kinsmen Club of Ponoka, had their wallets open to support the group’s community efforts April 26.

The group’s live auction was held at the Kinsmen Community Centre and is intended as a means to raise money for the club’s newest project, a toboggan hill.

In an effort to drive interest, the club made a decision last year to invite to the auction those businesses and individuals who have donated to their cause. President Ken Groot said organizers felt that donors needed to be recognized for their efforts with a prime rib dinner.

Keeping things light after the dinner was a fast-talking, smooth auctioneer who delivered each of the 45 live auction items with a style that excited buyers. Those less eager to throw their hand in the air to make a bid could show their support with one of the other 60 silent auction items. Groot said he was pleased with the community support for the Kinsmen.

“The money that we raise is going to go into the community,” he explained.

The club is working on a toboggan hill this year with a location in the Southwest Industrial Park south of Ponoka County’s transfer site. Groot says the Kinsmen have approximately $50,000 saved for the project plus the amount raised from the live auction, yet to be announced.

Groot says he is unsure how much the actual project will cost because of equipment costs needed to bring in the approximately 20,000 cubic yards of material that will make up the hill.

There were two fun moments during the live auction; first was a tricky bid for a $100 bill. The winning bidder got to keep the money while the second highest bidder had to pay the top offer. After some quick bidding action, it was determined Jim Hamilton had accidentally placed the highest and second highest bid.

Another exciting auction moment was when buyers kept giving back a Texas mickey, donated by Arbutus Nurseries to be re-auctioned. Groot said they raised $500 after the mickey went back three times.

Cheque to Ponoka Cub Scouts

A $5,000 to the Ponoka Cub Scouts became $10,000 when the Kinsmen Club matched the amount. The initial $5,000 was donated from Andy Low of John Low Agencies for the Scouts. Groot says their goal is to ensure money raised goes into what is needed. “We get that money and we give it right back to the community.”