PRESQUE ISLE – The Presque Isle Rotary Club is gearing up for its 67th annual Radio and TV Auction, which will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 2, Wednesday, Dec. 3, and Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, and broadcast live from the Northeastland Hotel.

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Co-Chairs Frank Bemis and Gina LeBlanc-Eggert and more than 100 Presque Isle Rotarians are hard at work preparing for this year’s auction, which will benefit eight non-profit organizations in the region, as well as raise funds for this year’s special project, the Presque Isle Community Center.

“The fact that the Rotary Auction is in its 67th year is a testament to all our great businesses in our community that demonstrate a ‘service above self’ attitude,” Bemis said.  “Every year, our club is overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the business community at large in their support for the selected organizations that make such a difference in our community. The club is humbled by these gracious acts and has great gratitude for our communities’ involvement.  It all makes a difference in where we live.”

The auction can be followed in a variety of ways: Time Warner Cable - Channel 9, Big Country 97 (96.9), Facebook at presqueislerotary, Twitter @PIRotary and on the club’s website at www.presqueislerotary.org.  Bids are only accepted by the phone numbers (207) 540-1391 or 1-866-902-2003 during the auction, which takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening with items up for bid every half hour.

This year’s auction features nearly 600 auction items from over 180 donors with a total value of items estimated at more than $46,000.  The auction has a long list of Three-Night items, One-Night items and Half-Hour items.  The Three-Night items include an Infrared Portable Heater (Item # 1501) to a weekend for two at Moose Point Camps (Item # 1522). The One-Night items include a Gift Certificate for Jumbo Lobster and Steak Dinner (Item # 1202) to a Shower Door Silver frame with clear glass (Item #1401). The Half-Hour items include a “One Night Stay for Two (2) at Presque Isle Hampton Inn – Expires 11/01/15 (Item #151) to a Griffey Jr. and Schilling Rookies Donruss Baseball Card Set (Item #321).

The auction will also be offering all art items as Three-Night items for the first time.  All proceeds from the art items will be going to Wintergreen Arts Center. Art pieces are currently on display at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle and can be found on Rotary’s Facebook page.

Proceeds from this year’s regular auction will go toward eight area non-profit organizations that were chosen for funding, namely:

 

Martha and Mary’s Ministries ($3,500)

To assist in the purchase of a new commercial-grade stove with venting hood to serve those in need of a meal.

 

Catholic Charities ($3,000)

To assist in purchasing a chisel plow for the Farm for ME project, adding to the program’s farming equipment to expand growing options as they provide locally grown produce to people in need.

 

Central Aroostook Humane Society ($2,000)

To assist in purchasing a fire detection system to provide a safe and secure environment for the animals at the shelter.

 

Wintergreen Arts Center ($1,500)

To assist in the implementation of the Summer Session Arts Program.

 

United Way of Aroostook ($2,000)

To assist in promoting literacy and increasing reading frequency in families by getting a book each month to every Aroostook County child from birth until the age of 5 years old.

 

C.A.N.C.E.R ($1,000)

To assist in the continued creation and distribution of C.A.N.C.E.R comfort bags to help local individuals diagnosed with cancer and receiving treatment at CARY and TAMC.

 

University of Maine Presque Isle – Geology Department ($500)

To assist in the expense of an Aroostook County student to do educational travel.

 

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp ($500)

To fund scholarships for local students to attend the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp.

 

The Presque Isle Rotary Club also chooses a project or organization to receive Special or Major Project status. Past major projects have included mammography, dialysis and other much-needed equipment for the local hospital, a new roof for the Catholic Charities of Maine warehouse in Caribou, upgrades to Mantle Lake Park, lighting at the Nordic Heritage Center, and the establishment of a non-profit dental clinic to serve disadvantaged children in the region, to name just a few.

This year’s special project goal of $25,000 is earmarked for the Presque Isle Community Center, which will be located within walking distance of Downtown Presque Isle and provide something for citizens of every age, with a gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, a walking track, a pool and splash pad, and space designed to meet the needs of young families, teens and seniors. The project complements the City’s efforts to improve the region’s business climate and provides another reason for business to relocate to Presque Isle and remain here.

The Presque Isle Rotary Club maintains a membership of approximately 100 individuals and is part of a world-wide organization of community volunteers. The slogan of Rotary is “Service Above Self” and the club seeks to live up to this ideal by supporting a variety of causes for the betterment of the community. For over 65 years, the Presque Isle Rotary Club has held an annual auction to raise funds to support local charities and non-profit organizations. Last year, with generous donations from the community, the club raised over $60,000 for various organizations and charitable causes including Ronald McDonald House, Greater Haystack Trail Association, ACAP, Quoggy Jo, Star City ATV Club, and Easton Elementary School.

Auction co-chairs Frank Bemis and Gina LeBlanc-Eggert, along with the PI Rotary Club as a whole, are looking forward to another exciting auction this year. The club could not successfully complete this enormous task without the support of donors, viewers, listeners, and bidders. Anyone who is interested in learning more about Rotary and its ideals can visit www.PresqueIsleRotary.org or contact any Rotary member.