Bid now through March 14 on Plymouth rotary auction items
PLYMOUTH – This is not your father’s Rotary auction. With auctions currently underway, the 26th Annual Edition is brand new and live due to COVID-19.
âWe have transformed ourselves 180 degrees,â said Gary Maestas, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Plymouth. âWe had to think completely differently because of the pandemic, so we went to a virtual format. It’s all live now and people can bid until March 14th. “
Instead of a weekend of TV shows on PACTV, the 2021 Community Fundraiser is fully online at www.plymouthrotaryauction.com. Over 400 items are featured on the site, including gift certificates to local restaurants and retailers, golf packages, legal services, getaways, sports and theater tickets, jewelry and artwork. even more.
Oh, then there’s the Wine Cellar Collection: a collection of almost 50 bottles of wine donated by club members. Valued at $ 630 and including just about every vintage imaginable, this auction item is a wine lover’s dream.
âThis is the ultimate wine basket,â said Maestas, the retired Plymouth school principal. âRotarians donated so many bottles of wine for this gift. It’s enormous!”
Because of COVID-19, Rotary Club members realized they had to do things differently. Each of the previous 25 auctions has functioned as a social gathering and family affair where Rotarians and their friends have come together to have a good time while hosting the event. Now everything is online to minimize the risk of infection while maximizing support for the community.
âAt past auctions, we had food and fun for our volunteers,â Maestas said. âWe all got together and had a great time, but we had to rethink that this year. We found some new ideas for the Rotary auction.
One of these changes concerned corporate sponsorship. This year, when businesses contributed to the auction, they were asked to choose a favorite restaurant, so a portion of each $ 500 donation could be used to purchase a gift certificate.
âIn addition to helping local charities, we also help local businesses,â Maestas said. âRestaurants have been hit hard by COVID-19. Rather than asking them to donate to the auction, we use the funds from our 40 corporate sponsorships to support our dining venues by purchasing the gift certificates. We have over 100 gift cards for local restaurants.
Maestas is delighted that the auction will be fully online this year. Before, people had to keep calling to place bids on items. Now when someone raises the bid, attendees get a text message letting them know.
âOnce you’ve signed up, you can bid on anything,â he said. “You don’t have to keep track of what’s going on because we’ll let you know by text if you’re outbid.”
Each year, Plymouth Rotary raises approximately $ 50,000 through the auction for community causes and organizations. They include the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse, Spire Center for Performing Arts, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Manomet Youth Center, Plymouth and Kingston Public Libraries, Jones River Restoration Project, Relay for Life, Plymouth Education Foundation, Clean Waters Initiative , Plymouth YMCA-Camp Clark, scholarships for local students, international student exchange programs, BID Hospital-Plymouth, Shelter Box USA and others.
Rotary will close the auction on Sunday March 14 with a special show on PACTV from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show will feature details of the remaining items up for auction, testimonials from groups that have been helped, highlights of Plymouth Rotary’s efforts to support the community and more.
Learn more about the Rotary auction at www.plymouthrotaryauction.com. The links there will take you to web pages to view the auction items and register to bid.
And as Gary Maestas likes to say: “Bid early and outbid everyone!”