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April 13, 2024 April 13, 2024

Taber Charity Auction returns to support crucial service organizations

Posted on March 28, 2024 by Taber Times

By Cal Braid
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mark the calendar for April 6, when the annual Taber Charity Auction hosts one of the region’s biggest and best fundraising events. The viewing starts at 4 p.m. in the Legion Hall and is followed by dinner before the auction opens.

Twenty-eight years in, the auction has become a gravitational draw for donations that are distributed to a variety of worthy causes. It has raised over $2 million in proceeds as the result of the community’s generosity.

Beneficiaries of the auction include: the Taber and Vauxhall food banks, the Taber Handi-Bus, Cornfest, STARS and Halo air ambulances, the Public Access Defibrillation Program which supports over 50 PADS in the area, Safe Haven Kids summer camps, the fire departments for both Taber and the MD, the Taber Community Action and Prevention Society, and the Central School Breakfast Program, which feeds approximately 65 kids a day.

The auction committee is asking for support and gladly accepts donated merchandise for the auction or a cash donation from any community member or business.

Jared Bell, a board member on the auction committee, said the auction items can appeal to a diversity of interests. “I wouldn’t say we have a hard and fast rule (for items). We take and appreciate any donation we get from businesses in our area. We have everything from loads of gravel to fishing trips to patio sets to pellet grills…it’s a wide range of stuff.” Basically anything of value that a bidder would be willing to spend their money on.

“On event day we typically have somewhere in the 150 people range in the Legion. It’s done as a live auction,” Bell said. “The guys from Perlich Auction Market come down and run the actual auctioneering for us and do a great job. There’s a meal that’s $25 a plate, and it’s awesome food. A couple of the guys on our board, Rick and Steve Hofer, do a bunch of cooking for it. Rick runs Hog Wild Catering and it’s an excellent meal. We have dinner and then we roll right into the auction.”

“Typically we’ll have somewhere between 100 and 110 lots. We’re at it for a while. The actual auction will probably start at seven and we try to have it wrapped up by 10:30 p.m. We do some 50/50s and some door prize draws, so it takes a bit of time to get through,” he said.

A significant chunk of the proceeds are automatically designated for STARS, Halo, and the two food banks. The remainder is decided upon at the board level. “A lot of it is connected to need obviously. Our two largest donations are going to be to STARS and to Halo. That’s a big part of what we do at the auction. They send some representatives and come down and give speeches about why it’s important what they do with the money we raise. The food banks in both Taber and Vauxhall are sort of legacy organizations that we donate to and a lot of the other stuff is need-based.” Aside from the cost of dinner, the event is free to attend.

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