By Greg Price
The STARS and Community Charity Auction continues to go strong as it approaches its 23rd year of existence this Saturday.
In the early days, the auction raised approximately $5,000. The auction grew to the point it could not be hosted at the Sneekers facility anymore and moved over to the curling club, eventually making its way to its current location of the Taber Legion.
By the ninth year of the auction, it was clearing $50,000 in funds raised. For the last 10 years while the auction has been at the Legion, the $100,000 barrier has been broken, according to French.
“Now, we are at around $1.3 million raised,” said French. “We’ve donated $700,000 to STARS over those 23 years. We’ve paid for pretty much every trip the helicopter has made its way to Taber/Vauxhall.”
There is also the tens of thousands of dollars the charity auction gives each year within the community as well which has included both the Taber and M.D. of Taber fire departments, HALO, Taber Food Bank, school breakfast programs, Taber Handibus etc.
Regardless of the economic realities of the day, support for the STARS and Community Charity Auction has been phenomenal, according to French. When the recession gripped southern Alberta, thoughts were to put the auction on hold for a year among organizers to give the economy and donors a break.
“That was the second best year the auction ever had,” said French of the year organizers were thinking about going on a one-year hiatus. “The diversified economy around Taber really supports us. That year when people were out of work, oil prices were bad. There were 100 reasons why things weren’t good and I think that was still the best crowd we ever had at the auction. That year I think we were at $125,000.”
This year’s charity auction goes on Saturday with the supper special and merchandise viewing beginning at 5 p.m. at the Taber Legion Hall. Supper tickets are $15 with free admission to the auction which will start at 7 p.m.
Log onto http://www.tabercharityauction.com to view bid items.