Saturday marked the kick-off of United Way of Randolph County's new fundraising campaign - and thanks to those that donated items, helped set up the auction and then purchased the items, the LIVE UNITED auction Saturday was a great success.
"We raised more than $18,000 Saturday during the auction," said United Way of Randolph County Executive Director JoBeth Agnor. "The goal for this year's campaign is $170,000, which will be used to support 27 agencies in the area."
More than 70 bidders packed the First United Methodist Church to bid on their favorite goodies including quilts, handmade items, art pieces, baskets and furniture.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Bidders at the United Way of Randolph County LIVE UNITED kick-off auction Saturday raise more than $18,000 to help support 27 service organizations in the area. Auctioneer Ron Phillips brings in the bids for the hundreds of donated items.
Elkins resident Carolyn Jackson said she has attended the LIVE UNITED auction for many years.
"I like to bid on the quilts," Jackson said. "I have a friend who lives in Maryland and she donates a quilt for the auction each year."
Ray Godwin said he enjoys the auction.
"The Randolph County United Way is awesome," Godwin said. "It supports so many charities in the region that help so many people in the area. I appreciate their work, especially as they help Catholic Charities West Virginia. They depend on United Way to help so they can take care of the needs of area folks."
Godwin said he was especially interested in bidding on a blue Blinko glass vase and some of the baskets of homemade foods.
Elkins resident Audrey Irons is a long-term supporter of the Randolph County United Way. Saturday was Irons' birthday, but she did not let that deter her from giving her support to the auction. She came in bearing a "hot auction item" - three homemade pies that were still warm as the bidding war began.
"Each year, Audrey's pies cause quite a stir," said Robbie Morris, United Way of Randolph County's board of directors president.
When the bidding ceased, Irons' pies had amassed $700 for a good cause - $450 for a coconut cream pie, $140 for a chocolate pie and $110 for a butterscotch pie.
Irons said she enjoys baking and helping out.
"I look forward to making the pies for the auction," Irons said. "The United Way helps so many people and I was always taught to help others."
Del. Bill Hartman, D-Randolph, bought one of Irons' pies.
"I have always attended the United Way auctions," Hartman said. "I bought Audrey's butterscotch pie and a vase decorated with holly. I will take both of these when I visit my daughter Holly tomorrow."
Del. Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, said she also enjoys the United Way Auction.
"I want to bid on some of the West Virginia University and county items," Campbell said.
"I enjoy the auction and think it brings not only much needed funds, but also an awareness to the community. It helps an organization that provides assistance to groups helping the needy in our community."
With the new campaign comes the opportunity for folks to donate and help others.
"Lots of folks choose to donate through workplace payroll deduction," said Gary Clay, board member. "Every donation helps get us to our goal, and payroll deductions make it easy to help."
Clay said the United Way of Randolph County has representatives willing to talk with employees about a workplace campaign. Additional information is available by calling 304-636-0516 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from Saturday's auction benefit 27 local organizations, including the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities West Virginia, Energy Express, Foster Grandparent Program, Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council, Helping Hand Clearinghouse, Elkins/Randolph County Library, Helvetia Library, Pioneer Library, Tygart Valley Library, Valley Head Library, Literacy Volunteers of West Virginia, Meals on Wheels, North Central Community Action (Homeless Shelter), Randolph County Cancer Support Group, Randolph County Children's Advocacy Center, Randolph County Domestic Training & Referral, Randolph County Emergency Squad, Randolph County Family Resource Network, Randolph County Humane Society, Randolph County Senior Center, Randolph County Sheltered Workshop (Seneca Designs), Senior Companion Program, Women's Aid In Crisis, Elkins-Randolph County YMCA and Youth Health Services.