The 65th Annual Melba Community Auction Attracts Hundreds
Hundreds of community members showed up for the annual community auction at Melba High School gymnasium last Saturday, January 25. This year marked the 65th annual city auction with almost 200 bidding cards issued.
Although the final tally was not available as of press time, Co-Chairman Matt Wilson estimates that they raised just shy of $46,000.
Originally, when the auction was established, the money was used for polio relief in the community. Today, the money is used for a variety of purposes that is determined by a committee of residents that take in to consideration the health and wellness of citizen requests for funds. Money has been used for helping to pay for local funerals, the senior center, surgeries, heating oil for community members and even donations to the Ronald McDonald House according to Wilson.
“It’s a true community auction,” said Wilson as children ran around and played in the gym among the seats.
Part of the tradition of the annual Melba Community Auction is to auction a cake, sell it, and then the winning bidder re-donates it to be sold again. The cake, donated by JoAnn Noe who has been baking it since anyone can remember, was sold a total of 19 times for a total amount of $1,800.
The auction started outside where calves, hay and farm chemicals were auctioned off first, then everyone moved back inside for the other goods.
This year’s items included an 80” television, gun safes, new tires, cakes, birdhouses, quilts, classes, gift baskets put together by each grade at Melba schools, tools and bicycles among many items. The items that seemed to sell for the most were the handmade, handcrafted items by community members. In addition, there were raffles of two guns, a half-pig and half-beef along with plenty of cash awards.
The Melmont Seed & Bean Company has donated bags of pinto beans over the years. Among the multiple bags of beans is hidden a $100. This inspires many to take a chance on the big winner. The first round of bags sold for $45 each.
A quilted baby blanket sewn by Jane Zeyer that sold towards the end of the auction went for $1,000. A bidding war erupted over the item that generated lots of good-natured laughing because it was apparently between family relations. In the end, Melmont Bean & Seed won the bid.
The auction relies upon community volunteers and donations from area businesses and residents. This year the Wilson Butte 4H club, the Melba Senior Class and the Melba FFA “Really stepped up and took over a lot of the volunteer positions,” according to Matt Wilson. Matt Wilson and J.J. Volker, who have been serving as co-chairmen of the auction for the last several years say that they always need volunteers and that it’s not to early to get involved for next year. You can contact J.J. Volkers at 573-5302 or Matt Wilson at 899-2096 if you want to help.