What better way to spend a Saturday than by sitting in front of the TV for 10 hours straight and calling in to buy things that strike your fancy?
We’re not advocating for becoming addicted to the home shopping network, but we are advocating for tuning in to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord’s 45th annual TV Auction this Saturday.
In what has become a holiday tradition for many families, the auction is an all-day fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and it’s also a massive undertaking, made possible in large part by the dozens of volunteers who chip in every year.
As of late last week, the clubs were still receiving donations of items to be auctioned off, but there are typically about 700 items up for grabs over the course of the day. The auction is broadcast by ConcordTV on channels 6, 17 and 22, and it will also be streamed live at bid4kids.org.
The daylong program, which runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., features items grouped by approximate value on boards of nine items. Each board gets displayed on TV for 2 to 4 minutes, and viewers at home can call in to bid on any items they like. Once the time is up, the board comes down and winners are announced on the air, usually after the next board has been completed. This year’s auction will feature items from more than 500 different donors.
“The community is just pulling together every year to help us make these TV auctions the success that it is, and this is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said Lisa Clark, special events manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
The auction usually brings in between $100,000 and $120,000, and all the proceeds go to providing after-school programming, summer camp and early childhood education for about 2,200 kids living in central New Hampshire, Clark said.
And none of it would be possible without all the help from the community. The phone bank alone features about 70 volunteers handling all the phone calls, and there are 24 auctioneers and two to three dozen other volunteers who are involved in the production.
One of the hallmarks of the TV auction is the presence of some local-celebrity auctioneers, such as Mayor Jim Bouley, DJ Nazzy, former state senator Sylvia Larsen, former Monitor contributor Tim O’Shea and members of Concord’s police and fire departments.
Some notable items up for auction this year include a Fish and Game package that comes with a six-hour guided fishing trip and an appearance of the show New Hampshire’s Wild Side, as well as the opportunity to play against Bruins alumni. There will be hundreds of other items, too, including many gift certificates to a variety of local businesses.
If you win an item, you can claim it from the Boys & Girls Club at 55 Bradley St. either during the auction, from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday or any time during business hours the following week. If you know you’ll be bidding on a lot of items, you can reserve a bid number to save time at bid4kids.org, the same link to use if you want to stream the auction.
For more info, email Clark at email@example.com.