For most of the year the Greenfield Rotary Club spends its time helping others in the community. But one day a year — during its annual auction at the Greene Countrie Towne Festival — it asks for a little something in return.
The Greene Countrie Towne Festival runs July 19-21 and the auction will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the main stage located at the intersection of Jefferson and Fourth streets.
What the Rotary Club needs is donations of new or gently-used items for the auction.
Donations can be dropped off at The Letter Shop, 247 Jefferson St., Greenfield, anytime from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, and on Saturday until the time of the auction at The Letter Shop or the Rotary Club booth near the festival stage. If someone needs something picked up for the auction, they can make arrangements by calling Steve Pearce at 937-981-3117.
Pearce, the co-chair of the auction with Chuck Miller and Wes Surritt, said the auction is the Rotary’s largest fundraiser of the year, and that all the money raised through it goes back into Greenfield.
“We have a couple spaghetti dinners that raise some money, too, but we raise most of our money through the auction,” Pearce said. “The money goes to help take care of the Ralph W. Phillips Recreation and Civic Center (armory), and generally whatever the needs of the community are. We try to spread the money out where it’s needed.”
Over the years, Pearce said, the auction raised as much as $27,000 in a single day, but more recently it is has been closer to half that figure.
Some of the items being auctioned this year include Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals tickets, home decor, lawn blowers, a children’s swimming pool, bicycles, a set of Coca Cola lawn chairs, shop vacs and more. Pearce said most people donate new merchandise. He said gently-used items are also accepted, but the club does not want yard sale type items.
According to the Rotary Club, the auction and donations by community members and businesses have allowed the club to undertake the following projects:
• Purchasing and maintaining the Ralph Phillips Recreation and Civic Center.
• Organizing the festival that’s held on the third weekend of every July promoting community involvement through various activities over the weekend.
• The Needy Kids Program that has provided food, clothing, and toys to more than 400 children in the community for the holidays and throughout the year.
• Purchasing and distributing dictionaries to every third grader and thesauruses to every fifth grader in the Greenfield Exempted Village School District each year.
• Running the Greenfield portion of the telethon for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults.
• The Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest with the Rotary Club provding an annual scholarship to the winner.
One of the main items sold at the auction are 10 limited edition prints of a drawing, created this year by McClain High School graduate Tammy Wells.
This year’s print features the former Greenfield fire station and an old-time fire truck.
“I guess the fire department building has just been a big part of the community over the years and now we have (the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District),” Pearce previously said. “It’s something to link the community to its past and present.”
The Rotary Club has auctioned 10 prints by a local artist at the festival since 1993. Former MHS art teacher Dan Crusie did the drawing from 1993 to 2002, then again last year. Wells did the drawing from 2003 to 2017 and is back again this year.
“The Rotary Club appreciates the opportunity to help raise money and get it where it’s needed,” Pearce said. “We also appreciate all the people that donate and bid at the auction, because without them we couldn’t pull it off.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.