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Major Changes are in Store for the 70th Annual Rotary Auction
 
It's a milestone year for the Presque Isle Rotary Club's signature fundraising and community-building event, and organizers have big plans and many changes in store for the 70th Annual Rotary Auction.  For the first time in two decades, the auction will return to WAGM-TV, which had previously hosted the broadcast for many years.  In addition to airing live on the station's Fox affiliate station (channel 12 for area Spectrum Cable subscribers) on Saturday, December 16, beginning at 12:00 noon and running through 7:00 p.m., the Auction will also be webcast on wagmtv.com. For more information on this and other big changes click to read the full article! 
 
 
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Press Release
Auction Media Contact:
Jason Parent
October 20, 2017
 
 
Presque Isle Rotary Club Announces Major Changes
for 70th Annual Rotary Auction
 
Aroostook County -   It's a milestone year for the Presque Isle Rotary Club's signature fundraising and community-building event, and organizers have big plans and many changes in store for the 70th Annual Rotary Auction.
 
        For the first time in two decades, the auction will return to WAGM-TV, which had previously hosted the broadcast for many years.  In addition to airing live on the station's Fox affiliate station (channel 12 for area Spectrum Cable subscribers) on Saturday, December 16, beginning at 12:00 noon and running through 7:00 p.m., the Auction will also be webcast on wagmtv.com.
 
        "It's a homecoming of sorts for the Rotary Auction, and we couldn't be more excited," said Jason Parent, who along with fellow Rotarian Clint Deschene, is co-chairing this year.  "There are not many organizations that can boast an event that has run for seven decades.  We wanted to do a little something different and add some new features this year to mark this impressive occasion.  We've done that - and then some - all the while honoring the auction's legacy.  I can remember watching the Rotary Auction on WAGM while growing up, and many Rotarians fondly remember the days when it was done at the TV station."
 
         The broadcast moving from the Community Cable Access station operated by the former Time Warner Cable back to the northern Maine's only commercial television station is not the only notable change. The traditional consecutive three-weeknight, three-hour per night auction broadcast the week after Thanksgiving is, this year, a one-day (Saturday), seven-hour production in mid-December.
 
        Other changes past viewers/bidders can look forward to are consecutive, fast-paced ten-minute auction boards featuring twelve items.  Every fourth board, called a Big Board, will feature higher valued items, typically dubbed one-night and three-night items in recent past auctions.  Listings of items up for bid will be available in printed format and on-line, but TV auction viewers will see electronic auction listings that describe the item, show the retail value, current bid, and time remaining to call in and bid all on their screens.
 
        According to both Parent and Deschene, the changes are designed to make the auction broadcast more interactive, fast-paced, and easier to follow and place bids for viewers across Aroostook County and even Western New Brunswick.  The organizers expect the more advance promotion and broader regional broadcast reach that WAGM will offer will increase both the number of viewers and bidders.
 
        The television (and on-line) changes are not the only new features of this year's Presque Isle Rotary Auction.  For the first time ever, the Rotary Club will open a Rotary Auction Store in the Aroostook Centre Mall.  An official opening is set for November 18 in the former Deb Store just off the Food Court.  The store will open weekends through December 17th when it transitions to the spot for successful TV Auction bidders to pick up their items.
 
        The Rotary Auction Store will have exclusive items up for bid, not offered on the broadcast, that patrons can place bids on using silent auction sheets.  Shoppers will also have the opportunity to "Buy It Now" for ten percent above the retail price noted - with all proceeds going to the auction.  Additionally, bid sheets will be available for the Auction Broadcast "Big Board" items, that will be displayed in the store, encouraging patrons to "bid up" the items before they go on the on-air auction block.    
 
        "We've heard a lot of buzz about the Auction Store over the past few weeks as we've started to set things up at the mall," said Deschene.  "We're looking forward to opening day and the opportunity to meet people from across the region.  Not only will the store provide us with the opportunity to hopefully increase our auction proceeds, but it will allow us to connect our Club with the greater community."
 
        In addition to serving as an extension of the Auction, the store will be the venue for the Wintergreen Arts Center CHAIRity Auction.  More than two dozen originally designed chairs of various sizes, the creation of numerous area artists, will be on display and available for patrons to place bids on.  Chairs will be exclusive to the Auction Store and will be up for bid through December 17 at 12:00 noon.
 
        Visitors to the Rotary Auction Store at the Aroostook Centre Mall will also be able to purchase tickets for a special 50/50 super draw sponsored by Machias Savings Bank, and purchase special commemorative Christmas tree ornaments being sold by the Presque Isle Kiwanis Club.
 
        The Kiwanis Club, Presque Isle Rotary Club and United Way of Aroostook have come together with the City of Presque Isle on a project designed to improve outdoor recreation and play opportunities for area families.  A steering committee, comprised of representatives from each organization, has launched an initiative to build a new playground area at Riverside Park.
 
        In addition to actively participating in the Steering Committee, the Presque Isle Rotary Club has designated this initiative as its "Community Project". The "Community Project" is in lieu of a "Special Project" as part of its 70th Annual Rotary Auction.  The Presque Isle Rotary Club will also designate a portion of the milestone year auction general proceeds to the park project.  The remainder of auction proceeds will support Club projects including local youth literacy, scholarships, and polio eradication initiatives to name a few.
 
        "We are very excited for both the coming auction and the collaborative efforts to build a new playground at Riverside Park," said Mandy Pooler-Hall, president of the Presque Isle Rotary Club.  "Over the many years that our Rotary Auction has been held, hundreds of community causes have benefitted from the millions of dollars raised.  None of this would have been possible without the great efforts of many Rotarians over the generations, and more importantly were it not for the strong community support we have enjoyed.  We are profoundly grateful to all who have (and will) support our efforts to serve the local community."
 
        For more information on the 70th Annual Rotary Auction, contact Parent at jparent@acap-me.org or Deschene at deschenec@sad1.org.  To inquire about the Community Project to build a new playground at Riverside Park or to donate, contact Rotarians Jane Towle at janetowle@maine.rr.com or Sarah Ennis at Sarah.Duncan@townsquaremedia.com.