By RUSSELL JONES
After a little mid-day sprinkle, dozens of bidders was greeted by a perfect summer day as the Great Brandon Auction got underway this past Tuesday, July 16.
After unloading and organizing the donations that poured in from storage areas, barns, cars and trucks, auctioneer Barb Watters went to work selling with her usual gusto. With hundreds of items to be sold, Watters wasted no time working the crowd and selling off almost all the goods.
“Thanks so much to the team of volunteers, donors, bidders and buyers who made the auction a huge success,” Chamber executive director Bernie Carr said, adding that the “grand total was over $8,500.”
Proceeds from the auction support the many activities and programs of the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce and works of the Brandon Museum at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace.
“We thank all the Chamber members who donated, the private citizens who have supported us with donations for so long, and everyone who helped with the success, including volunteers from Camps Betsey Cox and Sangamon in Pittsford,” Carr added. “There are way too many people who helped to name everyone, but you know who you are — Chamber Action Team! Special thanks to Calvin Loven and to Naylor & Breen, and to the Lions Club for providing great food. Thanks also to Roger Paquette, Rodney Bicknell and Karla for the trailer and place to park it, and, of course, to Bill Moore for use of his sound system and his help in getting organized in our new venue.”
A large collection of 80s and 90s baseball cards went for the low price of $40. The winning bidder was Paul Bushee, but he said the item was not for him.
“My grandson really wanted them and he was having such a good time that I bought it for him,” Bushee said. “He had a blast and hopefully I have a new auction pal that I can take with me next time.”
After Bushee won the bid, his grandson and another young friend raced to the card collection, picked it up and carried it off, despite the heavy weight of the collection, with big smiles on their faces.
“That’s one of the best things about this auction,” Carr said. “You get to see people get an item they are really going to enjoy.”
Some of the big ticket items this year included original works of art from Judith Reilly and Warren Kimble, a 100 gallons of fuel oil, some beautiful handcrafted wooden offerings from local craftsmen, a huge 1800s mirror with a gilded frame and dozens of gift certificates from businesses and individual members. A 1960s era sunfish sailboat sold for $110 to the surprise of the crowd of nearly 100.
“We used the expertise of Leo Larocque, Tim Shields and Mike Wilson on the antique side of the auction,” Carr said. “Carol Fjeld and her box lot bevy were great and efficient as always and Judy Reilly and Charlotte Bishop tended to our art and fancy offerings while Judy rode herd on the gang of workers presenting the eclectic items coming up for bids. Most importantly, we couldn’t do it without the team behind the scene and on the mike, Brian Coolidge, auctioneer Barb Watters and the hard work of our board of directors.”