A crowd gathered in the brick hallway of Elkins Seneca Mall to bid on decorations created for the Festival of Trees Saturday afternoon.
The festival auction, conducted by the Kump Education Center, was host to a combined total of 22 holiday trees and wreathes, displayed throughout the mall. Heather Biola, director of the Kump Center, said all proceeds from the events were going to support continuing improvements to the educational center.
"We'll use it to fund the renovation of the house," she said.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Casey Houser
Bill Johnson acts as auctioneer during the Festival of Trees auction Saturday afternoon at the Seneca Mall. A combined total of 22 trees and wreathes were sold during the event, conducted by the Kump Education Center.
The Kump Center website lists it as a nonprofit organization that is to be used for the advancement of educational purposes. It is partnering with Davis & Elkins College, West Virginia Wesleyan College and Alderson-Broaddus College, along with the Randolph, Upshur, Barbour, Tucker and Pendleton county school systems, to develop educational programs for the area.
Biola said the Kump Center currently needs a new heating system. A grant for a new driveway is also being sought.
Approximately 30 people turned out to show their support at the auction. Some trees sold for more than $70, and many others raised in excess of $40.
Biola said total receipts for the event were approximately $1,000.
Trees and wreathes were donated by the following organizations:
Randolph County and Davis and Elkins Education Department Professional Development Schools; Elkins Tree Board, Kump Education Center; D&E Music Club; Garden Creations by Brandon Armstead; D&E Development Office; Augusta Heritage Center; YMCA Youth Center; Elkins Woman's Club; Family Dental; Henry G's; The Gandy Dancer; Scott Hill Occasions; Ceramics with Class; Woodland Creations; Ruth Blackwell Rogers; Elkins High School Key Club; Woodland Creations; Emma Scott Garden Club; Elkins Sewing Center; Jo Jo's Floral and Seneca Mall.
Martha Metheny, co-owner of Seneca Mall, said this is the first year that the auction has taken place in the mall. In years past, she said, the event took place at the Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins.
She said she hopes the event will become an annual event at Seneca Mall.
"Once you do it one year, it gets better and better," she said.
Metheny was optimistic about the auction's future, saying residents are beginning to notice what downtown Elkins has to offer.
"People are starting to see that downtown is alive," she said. "We have some very exciting things happening here."
Contact Casey Houser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.