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Charles City Rotary Club’s annual Radio Auction set for Saturday morning

By Bob Steenson, [email protected]

Meals, merchandize, services and scores of gift certificates will be on the auction block Saturday morning for the annual Charles City Rotary Club Rotary Radio Auction.

The event is often the club’s largest fundraiser each year, and collects thousands of dollars that are returned to the community through Rotary projects and student scholarships.

Charles City Rotary Club’s annual Radio Auction set for Saturday morningNew this year, the Rotary Club is partnering with TLC: The Learning Center to help that child care organization in it’s Grand Plan fundraising efforts to move to remodeled space in the 500 North Grand Building.

The club and TLC will be splitting auction proceeds this year.

Some of the bigger ticket items this year involve entertainment, including a weekend getaway in Lansing, valued at $450; two tickets to an Elton John concert in Des Moines in March valued at $245; a pontoon cruise of Clear Lake and a steak dinner for two with wine, valued at $150.

There are 112 items listed for the auction block, with a total retail value of more than $9,000, said Rotary Club member Tammy Elthon, who helps organize the event for the club.

Sometimes the bidding gets frenzied and particular items sell for more than the suggested retail price, but other times bargains can be had.

A full list of the items to be auctioned off is available on the club’s website,, by clicking the 12th Annual Radio Auction links.

There are lots of gift certificates, ranging from $10 to $100 and more for area restaurants, auto services, pet care, coffee, clothing and more.

The Charles Theatre is again offering two of its big annual pass packages that include a weekly movie for two with a large combo from the snack bar.

In a sign of the times, Main Street Drug is offering a COVID Care package that includes masks, wipes, a digital thermometer, a COVID test, pulse oximeter and more.

Elthon said there is a good selection of items this year.

Some of the items have been purchased by club members and donated to be auctioned off, but many more have been donated by area businesses and organizations to help support the Rotary Club and TLC.

Elthon said the auction is a lot of fun, and she encouraged people to tune in and listen, even when they’re not bidding on a particular item.

The auction will run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 5, on radio station KCHA, 95.9 FM. Up to several items will be available to bid on at any one time, and winners will be announced when the bidding on an item has ended. To bid, call 641-228-1000.

No early bids will be accepted, and items may be sold in a different order than as listed on the Rotary Club website.

Elthon noted that people who are listening to the auction livestreamed online will have a several second delay over the version broadcast over the air, and so might not be able to keep up with quickly changing bids or an item’s sale being closed.

“For best results listen live over the radio at 95.9 FM,” she said.

Items will be available to be picked by the winning bidders at Circle K Communications, 1003 Fifth Ave., beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.

This is the 12th year of the Rotary Radio Auction, after taking pause in 2021 because of the pandemic. Over the years almost $64,000 has been raised then returned to the community in the form of projects and scholarships.

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