Kiwanis charity auction offers 'one more way people can reach out and help kids'

Auctioneers Toot Ewalt, left, and Casey Ewalt-McGartland, far right, work the crowd during the Quincy Noon Kiwanis Club live charity auction held Saturday in the Quincy Mall Center Court. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Feb. 23, 2013 6:00 pm Updated: Mar. 9, 2013 8:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Joe Henning kept busy bidding during Saturday's charity auction sponsored by the Quincy Noon Kiwanis Club.

Henning, the club's secretary, represented people who submitted online bids for the thousands of dollars worth of items donated from area businesses.

"I'd sit there and bid against people in the audience," Henning said. "It is kind of fun. Everybody likes the thrill of being in an auction, and I get to do that with somebody else's money."

Bidders in the audience at the Quincy Mall Center Court and from miles away walked away happy from the event which featured right at 150 items including a four-night vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, a Polaris ATV and three autographed St. Louis Cardinals jerseys, including one by the late great Stan Musial.

"We got $1,250 for the Stan Musial jersey," Henning said.

Proceeds from the annual auction go toward area youth organizations.

How much the auction raised won't be determined until at least Monday, but "we usually give away about $25,000 a year, and most of that money comes from the auction," Henning said. "Usually sometime in June, we give money out to 25-30 different agencies. They all have something to do with youth, with young people."

The auction is the group's biggest fundraiser of the year, with club members working to pull the event together by soliciting donations or making financial contributions of their own.

A touch of cabin fever from the recent snowstorm helped boost the crowd of bidders who turned out to help others.

"It's just one more way people can reach out and help kids. There's always the direct donation route, but sometimes you look for a little return on the money, to get a little something in return," Henning said. "All the items we have are donated by businesses, and it ends up being a donation with a little bit of a perk. The companies get good advertising, and the participants get a nice item."

Even Henning took home something from the auction.

"I bought a gift certificate for my daughter's senior portraits," he said. "I might as well save a little if I can."