AUCTION RAISES NEARLY $24,000
November 05, 2002 11:00 pm
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A change of location for a major event can bring fears of catastrophe, but instead the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce's decision to move its auction to Redwood Theater was for the better.

Not only did the chamber deal with a new location, but it dealt with new technology, which started off fuzzy, but was cleared up as the event progressed.

"I was extra pleased," said Les Cohen, chamber executive director, of the auction. In the end, the chamber garnered nearly $24,000, a preliminary figure that does not include income from program sponsors. As it was, the event was at budget.

Each hour of the programming was sponsored by two businesses from the community, Cohen said. What the businesses pay eventually comes back to the community.

"All proceeds go to the chamber of commerce benefit the economy and lifestyle of the community," Cohen said. "We're more than a tourist agency, we are a business advocacy agency."

Cohen said the location of the auction was changed because of heavy radio traffic on the airwaves caused signal problems. In recent years, the auction has been at the Elks Lodge with the signal transmitted to the KBSC-TV studios on Chetco Avenue.

This year to solve that problem, officials decided to hard-wire the signal. Because of the Redwood Theater's proximity, with the TV station, it was decided to have the auction there, Cohen said.

Also new this year was the use of a computerized bid board. Not only were the bids transmitted onto TV screens, the bids were projected onto the movie screen for the live audience to see.

Saturday, the first day of the event, there were problems, but this was cleared up by Sunday, Cohen said. In previous years, a dry-erase board was used and glare was a problem.

Despite the problems, this year's auction started moving from the beginning.

"The first hour we started off running," Cohen said. "We had a great audience. The phones were ringing right off the bat."

The auction sold items donated by community merchants at or below cost. Among larger items sold were a $700 recliner, a $500 organ, $330 for a scooter, vacation packages, and dinners served by the chamber directors.

One dinner was sold to chamber nemesis Vikki Nuss for $400, whose husband, Don, was staging a protest in front of his business, Coastal Copiers, which is next door to the theater.

Vikki Nuss said she was bidding against chamber board member Sandy Hislop for the meal, which is to be served by the chamber board.

Cohen said he's heard some people are calling it "the last supper."

Vikki Nuss, who spent most of the day inside the theater with bidder number in hand, also purchased a hat.

Cohen said overall the auction went well.

"I can't thank KBSC-TV enough," Cohen said.

Auction supervisors were Peggy Goergen, Peter Spratt, Roger Thompson, Judy May-Lopez, Shelley Fox, Dan McKee, Marilyn Deards and Lisa Orozco.

EMTs from Cal-Ore Life Flight were on hand for most of the auction, helping carry items. Help also was received by Washington Mutual Bank, Copy-All, Cardinal Employment Services, Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Nurses for You, Klamath First Federal, Curry County Home Health and Hospice, Emporium, Southwestern Oregon Community College, C&K Markets, Brookings-Harbor School District and the chamber ambassadors.

For information about picking up items, call the chamber office at (541) 469-3181.