By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A key fundraising event in preventing child abuse and neglect hits its 25th anniversary this weekend.
The annual Bids for Kids televised auction starts Friday at 6 p.m. The event is the key fundraiser for The Exchange Club Children’s Bureau Family Resource Center. The center serves Madison County in the effort to prevent child abuse.
The annual auction is also lots of fun with a very local focus and local personalities.
“We just need people to watch and bid,” said Bids for Kids organizer David Dodd, CEO of Madison County Federal Credit Union. The auction takes place at Anderson University’s Reardon Auditorium. It’s televised, and this year, for the first time, it will be live-streamed. Last year’s auction raised $75,000. Organizers hope to reach that mark again.
“It’s for the prevention of child abuse and that’s very dear to my heart. It’s heartbreaking to know it’s going on in our community,” said Barbie Jones, Exchange Club board member.
Organizers are enthusiastic about the items they’ve received to auction off. Among offerings are autographed items including a number of Colts articles, such as a football signed by Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. Also up for auction, look for a Maui vacation, practice packs for the 500 or the Brickyard, and two sets of Colts preseason tickets.
“We’re auctioning a dog this year, a petite poodle,” said Dodd. From a Kokomo breeder, Dodd said, it will reach at most 5 pounds.
Contributors can participate in a coin match by coming up on stage to put their donation in a bucket. When all is said and done, Tim Thompson of Nationwide Insurance and Andrea Eldon of Remax will each match up to $1,000 of whatever’s in the bucket. Commercial breaks are supported by many other sponsors.
In the audience will be the teddy bears that symbolize children who lost their lives due to abuse or neglect in Indiana. Last year, that number was 39.
That’s the reason volunteers pull together to support the programs of the Family Resource Center.
“They help families that might be at risk,” said Dodd. He said that people on the board are motivated to help. “We all have people close to us that have been victims of abuse.”
Bidding is easy. There are two phone numbers to call to get a bidder number, if a bidder doesn’t already have one. Then, when that must-have item comes up for bid, simply call up and give the number to place a bid. When the lot closes, a scroller on the screen announces the winner. Winners can pick up the item at Reardon Auditorium anytime while the auction is on air, or on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, anything left over or not picked up will be sold in a live, on-site auction.
Although it takes about 30 volunteers for each hour the auction runs, for everyone else, getting involved to prevent child abuse is just a phone call away.