Lions Club raises thousands during annual auction

Cris Ritchie — Editor

October 22, 2013

The Hazard Lions Club raised more than $20,000 last week during its annual radio auction, all of which will be used to fund the club’s local service projects in Perry County.

The auction was broadcast from City Hall Oct. 21-24, and marked the club’s 44th annual auction, which provides much of the clubs funds throughout the year, noted Jim Wooton, a member of the Lions Club who has participated in the auction since its beginning in 1969.

“It’s our major fundraiser,” Wooton explained. “All of the money that we raise we use at our eyeglass program, the Montessori school, and other programs that we sponsor throughout the year.”

The first auction was planned after some of Hazard’s members visited with counterparts in Hopkinsville and were able to observe that club’s radio auction, in which members described items for sale over the radio and listeners called in with bids. It was a good fundraiser for the Hopkinsville club, and the Hazard members decided it could work in Perry County as well.

“A year or so later, we started ours,” Wooton said.

The first auction was held at Hazard Community College, which was a much smaller facility at the time. Eventually, the college grew and ran out of space, so the club moved the auction to Hazard’s City Hall, where it continues to be held each year.

This year’s auction raised just over $21,700, a figure made possible by local businesses leaders who support the event by donating items or services for sale. Some businesses have shown support every year, like WSGS which has provided four evenings of air time for the past 44 years, and Home Lumber, which has donated items for sale each year since the auction began.

There are countless other businesses that have been able to support the club as well, Wooton said, adding thanks to the hundreds of people who also call in to bid on the items.

“We’ve had tremendous success,” he added, “but it’s been because the community has supported it.”