September 5, 2017
Story by Micah Oelze
Photos by Brandon Steinert
The proceeds from items sold, underwriters, program ads and ticket sales netted $40,000 at the 39th Annual Big Benefit Auction in late August. These funds benefit students directly through scholarships and program enhancements at Barton Community College.
Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Coleen Cape said she feels fortunate to have reached the foundation's goal.
“The success of this year’s 39th Annual Big Benefit Auction was a true community event,” she said. “If not for the dedication of our volunteers during the acquisition phase and the businesses and individuals who donated items, services and cash for catalog ads, our auction could not have succeeded.”
With the auction being the largest fundraiser for the Foundation each year, it is important for everything to come together. Successfully orchestrating this event is something both Cape and the Foundation Board of Directors know would be impossible without support from the community.
“This event is like a game of Jenga – it is a huge puzzle and if you remove a vital part of that puzzle the entire thing falls apart,” Cape said. “The Foundation Board of Directors and the Foundation staff could not be more grateful to each and every member of this community who touched this event with their generosity and support.”
A large amount of community support was seen in the auction of a single item that nobody even gets to take home: Old Bill. It raised nearly 37.5 percent of the auction’s funds coming in just short of $15,000, all to be awarded in scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year in honor of Rob and Trisha Dove.
For more information about the Foundation, contact the Foundation office at (620) 792-1136.
Origination of Old Bill
In 1981, the Claflin Fire Department donated a stuffed buffalo head to the foundation auction. This unique item was christened as “Old Bill” and quickly became a mainstay of this annual event being auctioned off each year since. To date, Old Bill has netted almost $220,000 in support of academic scholarships and program enhancements. Since 2002, the money generated from the sale of Old Bill has taken on an additional purpose – to honor loyal supporters and donors to Barton Community College.