Hate Black Friday shopping but still like to get everything bought early? Skip the stores and hang out on your couch this year and do your shopping during the 62nd Annual Rotary Christmas Auction.
The auction has been a Duncan mainstay for a long time, the auction began 62 years ago. It started life as a Jaycees effort that began in 1957 and the purpose has always been to provide winter clothing for children in need and Rotary continues that to this day.
Brendhan Fritts, past Rotary president and past chair person, said the auction is a little different than other holiday charities because it goes toward clothing for children in need.
“We have the Toy Shop in Duncan, we have Coats for Kids in Duncan, we have food for kids in Duncan. We felt like that [clothes] was a missing link, clothes are a necessity,” he said. “So the school system, Merry Stone and Melonie Hau, have been really helpful shifting through the applications and finding the kids who are most needy in the community so we can spend the dollars as wisely as we can and get the kids that are really in need. We know as the economy goes up and down, jobs can go up and down and people, they might not be looking for help, but they might need the help this year.”
The community support is what makes the auction happen.
“95 percent of all of our donations are local businesses. So we have what we consider ‘packet leaders’ who go out and contact the businesses and meet with them who have been willing in the past to donate,” he said.
The auction is aired nightly from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 on Sparklight Channel 60 or on the Duncan Rotary Youtube channel.
Due to some wonderful last minute support the full list of items will be posted to www.DuncanAuction.org and will be updated daily.
The auction proceeds purchase clothing for children in need and there is an application process to be selected.
“There is an application process. The Rotary Club sends an application home in (Duncan Public School’s) Monday folders about four weeks before the auction,” explained a past chairperson. “Parents, guardians, grandparents raising grandchildren — whoever has custody or guardianship completes the application. It is a means tested application process so it will come back for scoring to a committee and that’s how the children are selected.”
The average number of applications has been around 350 a year. Also, when all the applications are covered the extra funding goes towards the Rotary scholarships given in the spring.
If you don’t have Sparklight, you can still watch the auction from the live steam and on the auction Facebook page or on duncanauction.org.
However, bids must be placed through the auction hotline at 580-255-3733.
“We want to stay a little bit old school where you call in and somebody takes a bid — just a classic televised auction,” Fritts said. “We are not Ebay, we are not Google and we never will be. We are a small, private civic organization on a budget. We try to keep the budget very small because we don’t want to spend a bunch of money — we want all that money to go back to the kids.”