A PINK SHATTERING MOMENT
It may sound like a broken record and it is.
The 18th Annual Blooming Prairie Cancer Group benefit auctions, part of the Paint Blooming Prairie Pink event on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9 brought in $45,000, reports Cheri Krejci, treasurer of the organization.
This year’s auction total broke last year's record of $42,000. The monies came from bidders seeking some of the many donated items.
Three 1-pound packages of Hope Butter went for $95 a package, just to give a taste of how items appealed to bidders.
Other activities sandwiched on the outside of the auctions, brought in an additional $23,000 to bring the total contributions to over $65,000, a new record.
More than 100 items were auctioned on Friday night and another 120 items on Saturday night, the biggest auction night. The Big Tent located just west of The Cue Company was crowded with bidders and workers. Both night auctions went from 7-11 p.m.
A team of auctioneers and emcees made the auctions a giant success. Auctioneers included Dave Thompson, Galen Peterson, Mark Ditlevson and Justin Krell. Emcees were Matt Braaten, Kelly Lamotte, Paul Tollefson and Josh Toquam.
Auctioneers cleverly made appeals both nights to help the BP Cancer Group Community Fund. On Friday night, 40 bidders flashed their bidding numbers to donate $40 each or $1,600 total for parking passes for those taking treatments for cancer.
On Saturday night, auctioneers challenged bidders to donate $50 gas cards. The total has not yet been tabulated.
A benefit raffle also culminated with a drawing at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. The raffle was in memory of longtime Blooming Prairie area farmer Steve Prihoda.
First prize of $1,000 was won by Baby French (the unborn baby of Lindsey and Ryan French. Ryan's father bought tickets for all of his grandchildren. Baby French was the winner.
Second place of $300 was won by Tony Jensen and third place of $200 was won by Matt Cisinaro.
"I just want to thank everybody for their support, time and talent donated and for the many wonderful items donated," remarked Cheri Krejci. "I just can't believe all the work done on these events," she continued.
"It takes a whole committee to pull off something like this and we did it."
Gail Dennison, a representative of the Hormel Institute, spoke at Friday's auction and thanked everyone for their donations which help support cancer research.
BP Cancer Group board members will present a check to the Eagles Cancer Telethon next January. The Stix of Fury drum corps, which performed at the cancer auction on Saturday night, will also likely perform at the Eagles telethon on live television.
The Lemonade girls of B to Z Hardware turned over the monies they collected in late August on lemonade sales in front of B to Z. The girls turned over $1,112.
Some of the winning auction amounts "were amazing," remarked Krejci. She and daughter Lindsey French made cinnamon and caramel rolls, six plates full, all bringing in $1,020.
Sue Helgeson brought four items which brought $875: white chocolate raspberry cake, $225; carrot cake, $200; North Shore pie, $200 and rhuberry (rhubarb and blueberry) pie, $200.
Judy Lestrud donated five jars of her homemade chocolate chip cookies, two Friday night and three on Saturday night. They earned $445.
The most any item brought was on Friday night when the successful bidder paid $1,050 for a two-night overnight on a house boat.
Kevin Christianson was the successful bidder on a Ford tailgate bench, made by Doug Hillson. The end gate was donated by Elmer's Auto Salvage of Fountain City, Wis.
A Chevy end gate brought in $200. It was donated by Jim Alwes and Naomi Smith. A maple bench went for $450.
Reserve tables of six for Purse Bingo in Blooming Prairie next April 6 were auctioned on both nights, one going for $550 on Friday night and another going for $400 on Saturday night.
"It is incredible," Krejci continued to comment about the support received for the Paint Blooming Prairie Pink activities.