The Whitehorse Lions Club has been in operation for approximately six decades and during that time they have provided community support in many areas, from sponsoring sport teams to helping people with disabilities. They also help fund the Easter Seals House in Vancouver, where Yukon families are able to stay while receiving medical treatment.
The Lions Club raises almost all of its funds for these endeavors through just one yearly event: the Whitehorse Lions Club Internet and TV Auction. This year the 58th annual auction takes place on December 14 from 4 p.m. to midnight.
“We assist with a casino at (Sourdough) Rendezvous, but this is our major fund raising event,” says Lions Club member David Knight. “It’s a lot of fun. None of us are experts, but it’s a great community event.”
The auction will be broadcast on Northwestel cable television Channel 9. Items up for bidding will be shown on the channel along with a phone number to call to place a bid. The auction will also take place online at www.WhitehorseLionsClub.com/auction.
The auction receives many donations from businesses, both locally and from communities in Alaska. Common items include home renovation supplies and outdoor equipment, from barbeques to wheelbarrows, as well as gift certificates to restaurants and other businesses.
All items are available for bidding right away, and each hour a different grouping of items will close. Generally the more valuable items will stick around until the final hour, which in past years have included airline tickets, bicycles, and fishing rods.
“One of the things that’s great about the auction is that year after year we go back to the businesses in town (and Alaska) and for a lot of them there’s never a hesitation for wanting to donate to the auction,” says Knight. “It’s almost like they’ve been waiting for our call.”
Kenneth Howard first moved to Whitehorse 10 years ago, and has been bidding in the auction ever since.
“It’s always nice to see money going back into the community,” he says. “I bid on stuff that, most times, I need, or at least think I need. It’s just another avenue to pick up good products and it goes to a good cause at the same time.”
He keeps coming back, though he hasn’t always ended up with what he wanted.
“Sometimes I don’t get anything – it just depends how high I want to go with the bids,” Howard says. “We’ll go through the list – my wife and I – and see what we need and what we can buy. If it’s something we don’t really need then we’ll stand down.”
That’s the fun of an auction.
“You’ve gotta’ watch it right until the last minute,” Howard says. “They’ll have a countdown on it and somebody might get that last phone call in there, and a lot of times when you lose it it’s right at closing time. Either way, it’s a fun way to spend an evening.”
Howard’s most prized win from a past auction is a fishing pole from Haines, Alaska.
“I didn’t realize until afterwards, but the guy who makes them is right there in Haines,” Howard says. “He makes them in his house and I guess he’s quite known in that area. So yeah, it’s a nice pole.”
The 2013 Whitehorse Lions Club Internet and TV Auction takes place on Saturday, December 14th from 4 p.m. until midnight. Follow the action live on Northwestel cable channel 9 or online at www.WhitehorseLionsClub.com/auction