January 28, 2021

Presque Isle Rotary auction to continue

PRESQUE ISLE — The 43rd annual Presque Isle Rotary three-day radio-television auction will continue Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29 and 30, with Rotarian auctioneers selling their wares on live television and radio.

The auction activities will be broadcast on television from 7 to 8 p.m. and on radio from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday. The auction will continue Friday with television broadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. and radio broadcast from 7 to 10 on two local radio stations.

More than 800 items valued at more than $25,000 have been donated this year to help the local Rotary Club raise money for such projects as creative playground equipment, a bus for Presque Isle Parks and Recreation activities, and youth projects such as scholarships and student exchanges.

This year’s special project is aimed at raising $40,000 for the Julian W. Turner Memorial Simulator Project. The unit, which will be located at the Gould Division of The Aroostook Medical Center, will allow radiation specialists to pinpoint the location and size of cancer cells and calculate the exact dosage of cobalt radiation needed to destroy a tumor. TAMC treats about 150 cancer patients every year. The new equipment will eliminate travel to Bangor for radiation therapy.

In addition to the simulator project, Rotarians will continue their 32-year effort to support the hospital’s endowment fund through the Gold Brick Program. Since 1958, more than $500,000 in pledges has been received through the project. Pledges of $1,000 may be phoned in any of the three nights during the auction, and can be paid in full or spread over a 10-year period, $100 a year. Bricks may be purchased as a memoriam for a deceased loved one or may be dedicated to the honor of a family member, friend or business.

The 1990 auction features many “high ticket” items which will be bid on each night of the auction. The top item, a 16-foot natural-color cedar-strip canoe handcrafted by Jeff Tarbox, will go to the highest bidder Friday evening. Valued at $1,500, the general-purpose craft was donated by Chester M. Kearney Co. and Maine Potato Growers Co. Other three-night items include a Savin Fax donated by Levesque Office Supply; a 10-by-12-foot steel storage building donated by Agway Farm Center; one used double-door safe from The Aroostook Medical Center; and three round-trip air fares from American International Travel, valued at $550 each, for flights on Business Express, Continental Express-Bar Harbor, or Northwest Air Link.

Over the years, the auction has been a major fund-raiser for the local Rotary.

“Rotary members have been pitching in since early summer to make the auction a huge success,” said Tom Gagnon, auction co-chairman. “The rest is up to the public and how they respond as the items go up for bid. Again this year, it’s a very special cause and we hope to have overwhelming community support.”

Gagnon said that other recent auctions have had generous community participation, raising funds for the new Presque Isle chamber building, a mammography unit at TAMC, a handicapped-equipped van for the Opportunity Training Center, and ice hockey boards at The Forum.

Successful bidders will be notified by telephone after each half-hour of auctioning and may pick up their items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the auction storeroom at the new Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce building on Route 1 south of Presque Isle. The room also will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 3 and 4, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Merchandise may be paid for by cash or check, credit cards are not accepted, according to auction officials.

Boxed round-whites, chefs and russet potatoes will be on sale during storeroom hours. As has been the tradition for the last few auctions, local farmers have donated more than $1,000 worth of 50-pound boxed and bagged potatoes to help in the fund-raising efforts. Some potatoes are available in 10-pound bags.

Auction booklets listing details about the nearly 900-item auction are available throughout Aroostook County at Key Bank, People’s Heritage, Fleet Bank, Casco Northern Bank, or Maine National Bank locations, as well as Graves Shop ‘n Save, all IGA stores, district offices of Maine Public Service Co., and Northeast Publishing Co., at Skyway Industrial Park in Presque Isle.

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