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Community supports annual Rotary auction

Martin Ebel displays one of the pieces of art.

Fort Macleod Rotary Club president Gordon MacIvor went home Saturday from the club’s annual auction with a treadmill.

MacIvor isn’t embarking on a fitness kick though, he’s just continuing a longstanding Rotary tradition.

“It started as a joke,” MacIvor said of the treadmill donated in 1962 by Chester Davis and bought by then-Rotary president Frank Eden.
“Ever since then it’s been a tradition that the president bids on this treadmill and somehow wins,” MacIvor said. “Then he takes it home and puts it in the garage until the next auction. There is a real fun tradition there.”
The auction raised $16,200 for the Rotary Club.
“It is the big event for the whole year,” MacIvor said. “The whole club comes together and focuses on the auction.”
John Malasheski, Del Hildebrand, Elaine Featherstone and Sherry Van Herk take a lead role in organizing the auction”
“Everybody in the club makes their contribution,” MacIvor added.
That contribution includes convincing Fort Macleod businesses and individuals to donate something for the auction.
“We have some very persuasive people in this club,” MacIvor said with a smile.
Their ability to coax generous donations from people was on display Saturday at Midnight Stadium, where people bid generously throughout the afternoon for some quality items.
One of the popular items on the auction block was an autographed Team Canada jersey from the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships.

John Malasheski displays a framed collection of photos of Sidney Crosby's golden goalduring the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Also of interest to sports fans was a framed collection of photos of Sidney Crosby’s “golden goal” that gave Team Canada the gold medal at the winter Olympics in Vancouver.
For those with an interest in the arts there were tickets for the Empress Theatre’s Centre Stage Series, a framed watercolour painting by Florence Fraser, and a black and white print by Marney Delver.
Companies donated services such as Bobcat work, painting, concrete and even professional teeth-whitening.
The auctioneers also sold tools, furniture, straw bales, luggage, jewellery, a deepfreeze, clothes, golf green fees, Flames tickets, coffee makers, honey, sausage, hamburger patties, vegetables and beef.
“The generosity is incredible,” MacIvor said of people’s willingness to donate.
MacIvor also reflected on the willingness of people to bid actively on the items, willing to pay more than necessary to support a good cause.
The money raised by Rotary is used to fund projects that benefit the Fort Macleod community.
“It’s just a fun afternoon,” MacIvor said. “Everybody has a good time and it’s a good cause. And the money just flows back into the community.”

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