Register staff report
Regardless of whether the groundhog sees his shadow the morning of Feb. 2, a gavel will sound from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in City Hall as the 41st annual Richmond Kiwanis Club fundraising auction takes place.
Once known as a radio auction - and it is still broadcast on WEKY-AM 1340 - the traditional affair has been seen on Time Warner Cable Channel 12 since it moved to City Hall several years ago. Just as city commission meetings can be viewed live on the city's public access channel, so can the Kiwanis auction, as the auditorium becomes a TV studio.
The club's 62 members have been busy since late fall soliciting donated items and sponsorships, said Jennifer Napier, club president. In addition to being recognized on air during the auction, sponsors also will be recognized on the auction's own website, www.KiwanisAuction2013.com.
The auction features mostly new, very desirable items and services donated by Madison County businesses, Napier said. Soon, a list of items donated so far may be found on the auction's website.
Kiwanis auction bidders usually snap up some bargains while raising funds for the Kiwanis Club's youth services programs, she said. Businesses that donate auction items or support the event through sponsorships, also help keep Kiwanis youth programs going all year.
Last year, the auction raised about $14,000, Napier said, and the club hopes to exceed that amount this year.
Among the programs the club sponsors or helps sponsor are: Key Clubs at both Madison Central and Model high schools, Richmond Little League, the Madison Central Archery Club and the Kidz Konnection Klub.
Last year, Richmond Kiwanis also sponsored a creative outing for Madison County's deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Artfully Yours. That was a rare treat for the students who rarely are brought together for a field trip or event, Napier said.
For more details, to donate items or become an auction sponsor, call Napier at 779-0885.