Rotary Auction on

Club’s biggest fundraiser gets going despite worries about the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on businesses

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One of the Rotary Club of Smithers’ biggest fundraisers is a go this year.

The annual auction is now live despite the ongoing health pandemic.

Club president Corri Oliarny said they considered not doing the auction this year because of the toll COVID-19 has taken on local merchants.

“There are a lot of businesses and people struggling,” she said. “But then we thought, because we couldn’t do the fall fair, this would pretty much be our only fundraiser. We still really want to support the community and some businesses actually thrived this year.”

The other big money maker for the Rotary is running a food booth during the BVX in August, which didn’t happen this summer.

She said they’ve received a very good response for donations.

“We told businesses that if they were struggling to take pass this year, but everyone was really good about donating,” she added.

Half of this year’s proceeds will go to the Bulkley Valley Critical Incident Response Team. The organization is a group of trained volunteers that provide support to groups in the Bulkley Valley who may suffer psychological or emotional distress following a critical incident.

The other half goes back into club so they can donate to other causes and community projects. This year they made a $7,000 donation to Smithers Secondary School for bursaries.

Last year’s auction raised approximately $30,000. Organizers this year don’t have a goal, but will be happy with any amount brought in because it all goes back into the community.

Online bidding started Nov. 2 and will continue until the final two days of the event on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Nov. 25. A link to bid can be found on the Smithers Rotary Club’s website.