Those who donate are vital, and the group talked
about the donors at last year’s event, and made plans to reach out
to those folks to ask them to do it again. Then they approached the
idea of a silent auction and started developing a plan.
They had anticipated for this year, 50 pink pumpkins for the live
auction and possibly 50 silent auction items that could be
pink-themed but did not necessarily have to be.
A list of folks to talk to about each of the auction components was
put together by Hargis and Logan with Guyett and Smith adding a few
as well. What came out in the end though was that in addition to
those that were on the list, there were people calling and reaching
out saying they also wanted to be a part of the event. Even in the
last hour before the auction, donations were still walking in the
door. It was overwhelming and gratifying to see so many people who
wanted to be a part of this important fundraiser.
Other big contributors behind the scenes included Noah Atkinson at
Lincoln Printers. Noah has become an honorary member of the relay
team because he does so much to help promote the event. This year he
not only printed a large number of signs advertising the events, he
added stickers that were given out Thursday evening to auction
winners showing that they support breast cancer awareness and the
Pink Pumpkin Project.
Another behind the scenes helper that means a great deal to the
event is Gail Apel-Sasse of Gail’s Pumpkin Patch. Lincoln Daily News
provides the plastic pink pumpkins for the donors to use as the base
of their arrangements if they wish. They also have the option to use
a real pumpkin and Gail’s provides those pumpkins upon request, free
In addition, Gail sets up the fall arrangements that are at the
front door of Collision Concepts as guests arrive at the beginning
of the night.
In 2018, the Logan County Fair Royalty played the role of “Vanna”
for the auction. This year, as soon as the new 2019 royalty was
selected, the committee reached out to Fair Queen Coordinator
Bethany Rademaker and asked if the three young ladies would once
again help out with the auction.
All three were present Thursday night and did a wonderful job of
assisting auctioneer Mike Maske with the live auction. Thanks so
much to Miss Logan County Fair Queen Skye Kretzinger, Junior Miss
Logan County Anna Kindred and Little Miss Logan County Jolie Grisham
for coming and helping out.
Before the auction can happen there is a ton of work to do in the
back shop area. This year, Erv and Cindy Guyett decided that they
would close their shop at noon, allowing a few extra hours for
cleaning and setting up. When they closed up shop for the day, the
guys in the shop set to work. All the vehicles were moved out,
precautions were taken to assure the safety of guests as they came
into the shop, and there was a lot of floor cleaning that took
place. When they were done, guests came into a spotless area with
floors so clean you could probably eat off them.
When it was time, the guys in the Collision shop also helped with
setting up tables and chairs for the evening and at the end of the
night made quick work of cleaning up and clearing out the shop so it
would be ready for work the next morning. Thanks so much to the
Collision Concepts crew for all they did.
In 2018 the auction required about eight tables and 50 chairs that
the committee borrowed from the Logan County Fair Association.
Hargis, Logan, Smith and Richard Smith loaded up their cars and
trucks and hauled all that to Collision and set it up for the
auction night. This year, the committee determined that they would
need about 20 tables and that was going to take more than a couple
trips in the committee vehicles.
Illinois American Water stepped up and volunteered to go to the
fairground, get the tables and chairs with multiple vehicles. They
delivered the tables and chairs to the Collision Concepts shop on
Friday morning, came back out collected them all afterward and
returned them to the fairground. That was a tremendous time saver
for the committee and was very much appreciated. Illinois American
Water in Lincoln is often on hand to help out with events and
activities in the community. They seldom toot their own horn about
it so we’re going to do the tooting for them. They are a great group
that does a lot to make our town a better place. Thanks so much!
Last year, Mitch Douglas volunteered his time and talents to take
official photos of all the winners of auction items. This year
Douglas did the same again. With help from the fourth grade classes
at Northwest School, a backdrop was set up in a special room and
Douglas grabbed as many as were willing as they came away from the
auction and got those shots that are included in today’s coverage of
Mitch’s wife Margie also created a delightful auction item again
this year, as well as purchased one!
The backdrop for the pictures was created by the students of Mrs.
Dietrich and Mrs. Millers Fourth Grade classes at Northwest School.
Early in the planning, the core committee talked about the backdrop
and doing something to make it more special and personal for the
event. The idea came to mind to ask one of the District 27 schools
to help out. That idea was followed immediately with the selection
of one specific person to help – Tammy Dietrich. Mrs. Dietrich is a
huge supporter of Relay for Life, participating each year at the
June event. She also works to coordinate a Relay Recess project at
Northwest and in partnership with Adams School.
[to top of second column]
The Relay Recess program teaches youngsters about
cancer of all kinds, and also helps them understand healthy
lifestyle choices they can make to reduce their risk of cancer.
Mrs. Dietrich along with Mrs. Miller were excited about the idea and
instantly said yes they would love to help. When school started this
fall, a nice piece of plywood was delivered to the school by RP
Lumber and the children were excited to get started. When they were
finished, the students all signed the bottom of the board.
Thank you to all the young artists who contributed to this project.
They all did a terrific job!
A big part of the evening has to be the food, of course! Cindy
Guyett and some of her besties put together the food that included
finger foods and plenty of sweet treats.
New this year was an offering from Brad and Jennifer Luckhart of
Nuthatch Hill BBQ. The Luckharts brought in their BBQ Sundaes which
were made up of pulled pork barbecue, baked beans and coleslaw. The
food was a big hit, and the Luckharts donated every bite to the
Thanks to Brad and Jennifer for that amazing addition to the menu.
In addition to the food, the Luckhart’s also lent out Daisy the pink
pig for a kiss at the auction. Some may know that Daisy had kind of
a bad experience in 2018 at the Illinois State Fair in 2018. During
a horrific storm one night at the fair, security ordered that
everyone shut down their vendor areas and take shelter, during which
It took a while, but Daisy was finally recovered and returned home
with the Luckharts, a little worse for wear and needed some repairs.
Brad Luckhart called Collision Concepts to help him out and in no
time at all Daisy looked not only as good as new, she looked better.
Erv Guyett had the notion that Daisy, being as pink as she was,
would be the perfect addition to the Pink Pumpkin Auction in 2019.
The Luckharts agreed that they would enjoy having Daisy contribute
to raising awareness for Breast Cancer.
On Thursday, Daisy arrived at the shop and she first got a nice bath
then a fresh coat of wax and was wheeled into the front room where
she was prominently displayed throughout the evening. Guests were
invited to give Daisy a big ole’ smooch and if they felt so inclined
could also drop a dollar or two in the donation box at Daisy’s feet.
Several did, including Queen Skye and her younger counterparts.
On the night of the auction there are people who work to assist in
making sure everything gets done, and don’t get to attend the
auction because they have volunteered to help in those other areas.
Thanks so much to Amanda Weyant for her help. Amanda works the front
desk at Collision. On Thursday evening she manned the beverage table
assisting guests as needed. She also later returned to her desk
where she processed debit and credit card payments for buyers as
From CCAonline, Lisa Ramlow and Bobby Snyder along with Bobby’s
daughter Devyn filled the role of cashiers for the night.
For Amanda, Bobby, Devyn and Lisa, this was no small task. With
payments coming in at the end of the night to the tune of more than
$12,000, all four were kept quite busy after the auction.
This year, adding credit and debit payments was new for the auction.
It was not without its wrinkles, but these four ladies have already
offered suggestions on how to make that run smoother, and yes, notes
are already being compiled for 2020 and year number three!
Finally, an auction cannot be an auction without an auctioneer, and
one of the best we’ve ever known, was more than happy to donate his
time and talents to the event. Mike Maske of Mount Pulaski is known
for his generosity and willingness to serve the community through
donations of his time and talent. He is also very, very good at
getting people to part with their money!
Throughout the night, Maske nudged every bidder to take just one
more shot, and even had one fellow bidding against himself for a
It was a fun night, and the excited bidder just added to the upbeat
tempo of the event. As Maske was working the floor, selling what
would end up being one of the bigger sellers of the night – Molly
the Minion created by Carol Charron, the bidder hit the $600 mark
and Maske was still getting bids. The fellow then bid again, and
then again. When he had bid against himself a couple of times, Maske
stopped the auction and asked him if he knew he was bidding against
himself, and the man said he did indeed. So, instead of calling it
to a halt, Maske then said “well then just for fun, you wanna make
it $700?” The bidder agreed, and Molly the Minion ended up being the
second highest selling item of the night.
After the auction, the winning bidder, the Roddick Family, asked for
a photo with the one who had made Molly. Carol Charron and Rick
Charron of Charron Auto Repair in Lincoln were happy to oblige.
So, thanks, once again "thank you" is not a big enough to express
the appreciation of the Pink Pumpkin Auction Committee for Mike
Maske and his invaluable contribution to the success of the evening.
[Nila Smith with photos by Mitch
Douglas, Karen Hargis, Nila Smith and Perry Zubeck]