While COVID-19 restrictions continue to mean the cancellation or postponement of many events and fundraisers, the Beiseker Lions Club is moving forward with an online auction to support community organizations this June.
“I thought because we did have to cancel our annual Fair Day again, since we were already doing an online steer auction, I wanted to, in conjunction with that, do this auction,” said Cameron Schmaltz, a Beiseker Lions Club member and organizer. “I figured there would be a need for our service club to have funds available.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beiseker Lions put on their annual country fair every June. This year, the event was going to be bigger than ever, as it would have coincided with the Village of Beiseker’s centennial celebration. That celebration has been postponed until 2022, due to pandemic-related restrictions.
In lieu of Fair Day, Schmalz said the online auction will take place from June 10 to 12, coinciding with the Beiseker 4-H Steer Sale.
“We want to get some excitement going about the auction since people won’t be able to gather,” he said.
According to Schmaltz, the list of items that will be up for auction has not been finalized yet, but the group is focusing on providing products and services that can help people.
“People are auctioning off bobcat service hours, delivery services and welding, to name a few so far,” Schmaltz said. “It’s supposed to be a value-added thing.”
As difficult times continue to loom for many businesses, Schmaltz said it was important to him and the other volunteers that they weren’t approaching businesses that have been struggling to donate products or services for the auction.
“We wanted to ask businesses who may have not been as impacted by the pandemic, along with having these items that add value to people,” he said.
Schmaltz said there are many local organizations the Beiseker Lions support. Therefore, the money raised from the online auction will be split among organizations that need it after the proceeds have been tallied.
“For this auction, since we are hoping to raise some substantial funds, this will all go straight back to our club,” he said, adding 100 per cent of that money will go back into community organizations.
While the list of items is still being finalized, the auction will be done through the Olds Auction Mart’s website.
“We wish we could gather and have our Fair Day like we used to,” Schmaltz said. “We are hoping through this that we can at least continue to have some form of community spirit – that is the biggest thing we are trying to build and keep up.”