Pink Pumpkin

Live auction begins with special speaker John Logan and a review of why the fundraiser for ACS is important

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[October 25, 2021]  Thursday evening’s Pink Pumpkin Fundraiser Auction was divided into two basic parts. First, as guests arrived, there was plenty of food to enjoy courtesy of Nuthatch Hill BBQ and Collision Concepts. As people entered into the shop area at Collision, they could get their bid paddle, grab a bite to eat then go peruse the silent auction tables and place their bids on nearly 120 items offered.

The last call for placing bids in the silent auction came at 5:45 p.m. and at 6 p.m. the program moved into the second phase, the live auction.

Working the live auction for the evening would be local Auctioneer Mike Maske, special guest John Logan, Junior Miss Logan County Alayna Briggs, and Little Miss Logan County Sofia Farmer.

Before beginning there were a few opening comments to be made. Pink Pumpkin Committee member Nila Smith opened up the evening. “On behalf of Cindy Guyett, Karen Hargis, Lisa Ramlow and myself – Nila Smith, we want to thank all of you for coming out this evening. As many know, we are missing a member of our Pink Pumpkin Committee tonight – Roy Logan.

“We won’t shed tears tonight, but rather we will celebrate Roy, his infectious smile, his ability to spin a yarn and keep us laughing, and his devotion to this event. We are honored to have Roy’s brother John with us this evening and we’re going to hand the mic over to him to share a few words.”

Logan said he was excited to be a part of the program on Thursday evening. He said that the Pink Pumpkin Auction was something very near and dear to his brother’s heart. Roy looked forward to the annual event and was very pleased with the way the community had embraced the event.

He shared a story about himself and Roy when they were children that defined Roy always pushing the boundaries. When he and Roy were children, their mother used a dinner bell to call them in from play at supper time. She had a three-bell system. The first ringing of the bell told the kids it was time to head home. The second bell was a warning that they were running out of time, and the third bell was the solemn verdict that the tardy party would be going to bed without supper.

Now no Logan boy ever wanted to go to bed without supper. John said he would head to the house at the first bell, but not Roy. He would hang back dawdle a little longer and wait for that second bell. When it rang, Roy would take off to the house. He was a very fast runner John said and he would push his time to the very last second, sliding into his chair at the dinner table just as mother was preparing to administer that third bell.

Roy did things his own way, in his own time. He pushed the limits and challenged others to do the same, giving more than they knew they were capable of. John said Roy often told him that giving was a blessing and that no one should be denied the privilege of giving.

He said he was happy to be part of the auction, and he intended to help auctioneer Maske in pushing the limits of the bidders and allowing them to be blessed by the privilege of giving.

When John Logan finished, the mic went back to Smith.

New at this year’s auction was the presence of Luminaria from the traditional Relay for Life events. Smith reminded the audience that Relay for Life activities have been suspended. Among the special activities at each Relay event was the presentation of the luminaria. The luminaria event is always a very solemn and reverent activity at the Relay and a time to honor and remember cancer warriors who have passed away.

Bill Post and Tonita Reifsteck had joined the Pink Pumpkin Team to implement the luminaria at the auction. Approximately 90 luminaria were sold before the Thursday night event and an addition 30 were sold at the event.

The lights were dimmed in the shop area to show the illumination of the bags and a moment of silence was observed in remembrance.

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When the lights came back up there were a few more words.

Just as we have all suffered the hardships of Covid-19, so has the American Cancer Society. In 2020 the organization had to make some tough decisions regarding regional offices and staff. They did so in order to maintain the very important work of financing research, offering support services to cancer warriors and raising awareness of all types of cancer.

While the organization lost considerable dollars in 2020, they are still doing what they do best.

This year, the ACS has 20 active grants at research hospitals in Illinois alone. The dollars invested in those grants exceeds $13 million. Across the country the ACS is funding 630 research grants with more than $384 million.

What we raise here tonight will go to those grants and research, plus supporting local services such as rides to treatments, wig and prosthetic services, referrals for support groups, and much more. While the personal contact is not as prevalent as it has been in the past, those who need information and assistance can get it through the ACS website.

We want to do a quick review. In 2018 the first pink pumpkin auction brought in $6,022. The largest bid was made on a candy basket donated by the employees of the by then debunked Kroger Store. Erv Guyett offered a challenge that he would match the bid if the basket brought $500. It did, he did, and it became out big seller for the night.

In 2019 we added the silent auction to the evening and brought in a total of $12,846 the night of the auction plus a few thousand more in donations made during and after the auction.

The big seller that night was a design donated by Graue Chevrolet and it also brought $1,000.

In total, in 2019, the Friends & Family Relay Team that is the root of this auction raised more than $25,000 for the American Cancer Society.

As we move into what you are all waiting for, we want to acknowledge Erv & Cindy Guyett and their incredible staff who have worked so hard to set up this wonderful evening. We want to thank Jim and Jan Youngquist, owners of Lincoln Daily News and CCA Online for allowing their staff to spend hours getting this all together, and also have given us free rein to shamelessly promote this event through our daily edition.

We want to say a big thank you to our Logan County Royalty. Junior Miss Alayna Briggs and Little Miss Sofia Farmer will be our “Vanna’s” this evening.

John Logan will be up here assisting our auctioneer. We want to thank him for traveling several hundred miles to be here tonight.

Mike Maske is our auctioneer this evening. Mike donates his time and talent to this event as he does many others in the community and we are so appreciative.

Other’s we want to thank include Nuthatch Hill BBQ, Lincoln Printers, Mitch Douglas, and many more. Please be sure to check out the program for the auction as there are other thankyou’s there that are very important.

Thanks to all the donors for all the amazing gifts they have brought tonight. As always, this shows us just how generous this community is.

The last words were a story once again about Roy. Smith recounted a conversation Karen Hargis had shared recently that basically echoed what John Logan had said earlier in the evening.

When we began doing these auctions it was overwhelming at times. In the first year, Karen came in one day after picking up donations and said to Roy, it is getting too big. WE have to call a stop.

Roy looked at Karen as you know the way he could, with that “it’s my way or the highway look,” and said. “Karen! You cannot deny these people the privilege of giving!”

Likewise, we do not want to deny you the privilege of giving. So let’s loosen up those purse strings and get this show on the road!

The mic was then handed over to Maske who spent the next 80 minutes pushing, pulling and coaxing the big bids that in the end brought in the big bucks for the American Cancer Society.

[Nila Smith]

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