The Hay River Hospital Foundation and the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise are presenting an online charity auction beginning early next month.
The fundraising effort – officially known as the Hay River Hospital Foundation Online Auction – begins on Nov. 3 and will close on Nov. 17.
It will offer a variety of products and services from in and around Hay River.
This is the fifth year in the last six that the foundation has presented an online auction, and the second year that it has partnered with the Rotary Club.
Evellyn Coleman, co-chair of the auction for the hospital foundation, said the fundraising goal this year is $30,000, which would be a significant increase from the $20,000 raised last year.
“We’re going to work harder,” she said. “We’re more organized this year. Last year was the first year that we partnered and I think, for both sides, a lot of it was not really understanding whose role was to do what. This year we started planning earlier. We kind of separated the roles to each group.”
The funds will be divided 50/50 between the hospital foundation and the Rotary Club, and at least three quarters of the money raised will go to help the community’s hospital.
“With the hospital foundation, we’re kind of looking towards the new facility,” said Coleman of the health centre now under construction. “So anything that we raise money for cannot be a fixed-to-the-wall asset. It has to be moveable.”
She said the auction is largely promoted by word of mouth, but this year the word will also be spread on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
“We’re helping do the work and to raise a higher amount of money as the team works together,” said Peter Groenen, the other co-chair of the auction and president of the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise.
The club has designated at least 50 per cent of its share of the funds to some kind of project at the hospital, noted Groenen. “We’ll be relying on the foundation to help target what might be needed in the new hospital.”
The remainder of the Rotary Club’s share of the funds will go to its projects like Books for Kids and the Hay River Dragon’s Den.
“Our main projects are literacy and health, and we would put it back into that,” said Groenen.
The Rotary Club will host its annual Wine Fest on Nov. 15 during the auction. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in the auction either live or online, as computers will be available.
“So we’ve combined the two events together and we do have an evening where people can actually come out and bid live on some items,” said Groenen.
Coleman pointed out a number of advantages to an online auction, including the fact that people can bid anonymously.
“And it doesn’t limit it to bidders in Hay River or one night,” she noted. “It’s a 14-day span, so you don’t have to come out for one night if you’re busy that night.”
Coleman said businesses are now being approached for support, and she expects there will be anywhere from 150-200 items.
There were 140 items last year.
The auction website is www.HRHFauction.com.