WESTFIELD – The Kiwanis Club of Westfield will host its annual auction this year as an online only event.
Amanda Brodkin, president of the Kiwanis Club of Westfield, which includes Southwick, said its annual TV auction on Westfield Community Channel 15 will be held online this year due to the pandemic. Traditionally, the auction is a live event televised from Westfield State University.
“This year because of the pandemic we’re not able to do a TV auction. We anticipated this early on and after doing some research, we came up with the online version,” Brodkin said.
She said they will have the same kinds of items they’ve featured in the past, such as sports memorabilia, gift cards, gift baskets, vacations, personal items — a lot of miscellaneous things that people donate.
Brodkin said instead of seeing them on television in a 10-minute block, which is how they’ve done it in the past, bidders will get to have a five-day preview that will begin on March 1. The auctions will be open over the course of three days on March 5, 6 and 7.
The website for the auction is at kiwanisauction.com. Participants are encouraged to pre-register.
As in the past, postcards will be going out to past bidders to remind them of the auction as well as advise them of the change from TV to online. The postcards will include all the key details, such as the dates and web address, Brodkin said.
The auction is the Kiwanis Club of Westfield’s biggest annual fundraiser, normally raising between $45,000 and $50,000. The proceeds have supported programs at the Boys & Girls Club, Westfield Little League, Amelia Park Children’s Museum, the YMCA of Greater Westfield, and other child-based activities.
Brodkin is hopeful that the switch to online will attract even more participants. “We are really looking at this as an opportunity to give our donors a little more publicity. We will be able to include links, websites, photographs – a lot more eyeballs over a longer period of time. We’re also hoping to reach people in a larger geographic sphere,” she said, adding that her parents live in New Hampshire and can bid from home, for example.
Prize donations are still being accepted. Brodkin said they already have everything from trips, gift cards, creative baskets that include a lot of vendors especially in Westfield, such as Rosewood and Pilgrim Candles and Terra Americana. Companies that don’t have goods to donate can support the auction as sponsors, donate a gift card, or buy an item to auction off.
Westfield Bank is the lead sponsor for the auction. Event sponsors to date include Advance Manufacturing, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, Cassin Insurance, Firtion-Adams Funeral Service, Westfield Gas & Electric/Whip City Fiber and Westfield Lifestyle.
“We are always looking for event sponsors. Eight major sponsors will be featured prominently on the web page and in advertising,” Brodkin said.
Anyone who wants to contribute may contact auction leader Alex Khatchadourian at [email protected]
Kiwanis is a global community of clubs, members, and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. The Kiwanis Club of Westfield was established in 1922 and supports the Boys and Girls Club, Little League, and other child-focused organizations around Westfield and Southwick.