The 69th Annual Auction is a Wrap! Big changes were made this year including 15-minute auction blocks, item display set, online streaming and a new set in the Red Room at the Northeastland Hotel. In total, $75,000 was raised to support local non-profit organizations.The Presque Isle Rotary Club also teamed with the Wintergreen Art Center for the second annual "Chair"ity Auction. In addition to all that action, this years Special Project was the Aroostook Youth Football Program where funds were raised for the construction of a new football field. 

Big Changes Reap Big Rewards at the 69th Annual Presque Isle Rotary Auction


Presque Isle- The 69th Annual Presque Isle Rotary Auction is a wrap! The event took place November 29th thru December 1st and was broadcast live on Time Warner Community Channel 9 and for the first time ever was streamed online courtesy of Townsquare Media. Auction Co-Chairs Mandy Pooler-Hall and Jason Parent were joined by nearly 100 fellow Rotarians as they raised money for various local non-profit organizations.


The 2016 auction featured over 600 items valued at nearly $55,000 which were generously donated by nearly 200 local businesses. A wide array of items were up for bid, including gift certificates, tools, home decor, a gun safe, snowblowers, electronics and even a heat pump. The Presque Isle Rotary Club teamed with the Wintergreen Art Center to also host a “Mini-Charity” where 27 small wooden chairs, beautifully transformed into works of art by local artists, were auctioned off to help raise money for the Art Center.


This year’s auction consisted of some big changes to its format including 15 minute auction blocks instead of the traditional half hour segments, digital display boards, a stronger focus on bid items, online streaming and a larger social media presence. “We wanted to make some modifications to this year’s auction to not only provide more recognition to our generous donors but to broaden our viewer base as well. We used social media as a platform to showcase the amazing items we had up for bid and to thank the donors of those items. Without the generosity and support from local businesses, this auction would not be possible,” Pooler-Hall said. “The social media presence and online streaming allowed us to reach an audience we have not engaged before.”


Thirteen items were auctioned off every 15 minutes in addition to the traditional one-night and three-night items. “The thought process behind the 15 minute segments was to help boost excitement during the broadcast and keep our viewers engaged and excited to place bids,” Parent added. “The digital boards that were shown during the broadcast provided a description of the item and associated value. This allowed viewers who did not have access an auction booklet to follow along.” The changes made to the 2016 Auction resulted in a 5% boost in revenue which allows the Rotary Club to increase the support it provides to local non-profit organizations.


In addition to the regular auction, the Club raised money for the Aroostook Huskies Football Club who was this year’s “Special Project”. The football club is raising funds to construct a new football field on Route 1 between Presque Isle and Caribou. Approximately $40,000 was raised during the auction to support this effort.


In total, the Auction raised over $75,000 which will go to support not only the Aroostook Huskies Football Club, but to six other local non-profit organizations as well. Proceeds raised from regular auction items will go towards:


Aroostook County Action Program to assist with their Emergency Services Fund which provides a source of emergency financial support to residents who have exhausted all other options.


Central Aroostook Association to assist with the construction of an outdoor recreational area for their clients.


Friends of Aroostook to assist with farming equipment and seed which supports the local Meals on Wheels program in conjunction with the Aroostook Agency on Aging.


The Northern Lighthouse to help provide educational materials focused on mental health issues including anxiety, depression, suicide awareness, etc.


Pregnancy Care Center to assist in the purchase of new educational DVD’s for expecting mothers that include important information on pregnancy such as nutrition and pre-natal care.


United Way of Aroostook to help fund the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which provides one book each month to any enrolled Aroostook County child from birth through age 5.


The Presque Isle Rotary Club maintains a membership of 100 individuals and is part of a world-wide organization. The slogan of Rotary is “Service Above Self” and the club continues to work hard to live up to this ideal. “We want to thank everyone who tuned in to this year's auction and helped make it a great success,” said Pooler-Hall. Planning will begin shortly for the 70th Annual Rotary Auction which will be led by Jason Parent who added “We hope to continue to build on the foundation we created this year for the big 70th Annual Auction!”