Rotary Auction moves online, runs five days

Clarion Rotary Club members Casey O’Toole (left) and Crystal Jewell finalize details and listings for over 330 individual items up for bid in the Clarion Rotary Community Auction being held online at clarionrotary.com from April 20 to 24.

CLARION - The Clarion Rotary Club is gearing up for the 41st year of its annual community auction, this year utilizing an online bidding format instead of the traditional radio broadcast.

Slated for April 20 through 24, the auction will run for five days with hundreds of auction items closing daily. Bidding on over 330 individual items kicks off at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20 but pre-registration and browsing are available now at clarionrotary.com.

Items up for auction include donations from over 250 local businesses, totaling over $45,500 in value.

"We have thousands of dollars in gift cards to auction off as well as memberships, tickets, hotel stays, jewelry, and electronics," said auction committee chairman Casey O'Toole.

"In addition to all the wonderful product and service donations made by our local business leaders, we have some sponsored items that are new and exciting this year. Things that you wouldn't necessarily buy yourself, but I guarantee you'll want to bid on," O'Toole continued.

Bidding in the auction works differently in its online format versus previous years when the auction functioned through a call-in radio system.

Potential bidders will be able to view images and read descriptions of items up for auction on clarionrotary.com before placing a bid online. To place a bid, potential bidders need only to register with an email address and complete the log-in process.

Bidding will occur live and in real time and bidders may place proxy bids allowing them continued opportunities to win items, even while not in front of their computer.

Outbid notices will automatically be emailed to bidders allowing for additional bids to be placed in order to potentially win an item.

Bidders do not need a credit card to bid online; however, bidders may use cash, check, or credit card to pay for goods in-person on pick-up day slated for April 25, at the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry.

Paid receipts will be required to pick up items onsite, or schedule donated services with donating businesses.

Donations to this year's Clarion Rotary Community Auction include an $1,800 Clarion Bathware tub (full item description online) and a $975 HP ProBook X360 laptop donated by Computer Support and Associates, Inc., as well as traditional favorites including jewelry, massages, and outdoor equipment like a gas fire pit, boat tube and YETI Coolers as well as hundreds of gift cards to local restaurants, retailers, healthcare providers, and home services.

"The Clarion Rotary Club and our community business leaders have come together once again to bring you one of the biggest local fundraisers of the year and every single dollar is injected right back into the Clarion community," O'Toole said.

"These funds are used to support our local students in the form of five academic and civic related scholarships, multiple leadership academies and has also helped build and support local community resources like the Clarion Hospital Cancer Center and your YMCA," O'Toole added.

O'Toole estimated the auction raises between $23,000 and $25,000 each year. He is anticipating a strong 2021 auction.

"I'm overwhelmed at the amount of support this auction has received this year from our local businesses. Most small businesses had a very difficult year in 2020 with an ambivalent outlook for 2021, yet most were more than willing to support the Clarion Rotary Auction," O'Toole said. "That says something about the impact this fundraiser has locally but it speaks volumes about our community business leaders."

Pre-registration and feature photos with descriptions of items are available now at clarionrotary.com. Don't forget bidding starts at 6 a.m., April 20. Inquiries about the auction may be sent to clarionrotarycommunityauction@gmail.com.

Rotary International unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.2 million people of action from more than 36,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world.

Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

For more information, visit Rotary.org.