Online auction underway

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo Kim Wilkins, left, and Heather Coakwell are co-organizers of an online auction and a wine festival to raise money to help the Hay River Hospital Foundation buy medical equipment for the community.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Kim Wilkins, left, and Heather Coakwell are co-organizers of an online auction and a wine festival to raise money to help the Hay River Hospital Foundation buy medical equipment for the community.

A seventh-annual online auction is currently underway to raise money for medical equipment in Hay River.

The auction – which began on Nov. 14 and will run to Nov. 28 – is being presented by the Hay River Hospital Foundation in partnership with the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise.

Heather Coakwell, the chair of the foundation, said medical equipment is always changing.

“So you’re always going to need newer, better, more updated all the time,” she said. “Medical equipment is always more and more advanced every time you turn around, so there’s always bigger and better out there that we would like to get. Anything that would make it easier for the client is a bonus.”

Plus, Coakwell said medical equipment is never cheap.

“Those are all big expensive items,” she said. “It’s not something you can just rip on down to the hardware store and pick up.”

Unlike at times in the past, the auction does not have one or a few target purchases of equipment.

“This time it’s a whole bunch of little things from a whole bunch of different departments,” said Coakwell.

She said the auction does not have a target for how much it would like to raise but in the past it has raised about $25,000 in conjunction with a wine festival.

“The goal is always a big number,” Coakwell said. “We don’t have necessarily a goal. We never set out saying, ‘Gee, we really want to make $25,000.’ We’ve hit that target before. Whether or not we hit it again is another story. Every dollar counts. We don’t have a specific goal.”

She said the items up for bids range from things like a plate of fudge to an ATV and a car.

“So there is a price range for everybody,” she said.

Anyone interested in participating in the auction can register online at www.hrhfauction.com.

The foundation and the Rotary Club have been partnering on the online auction, and the associated wine festival, for four years.

The Wine and Art Festival will be held on Nov. 19 at the Ptarmigan Inn.

“I think that the wine festival is a great night,” said Kim Wilkins, the secretary of the Rotary Club and co-organizer of the auction and wine festival with Coakwell. “It’s going to be better than even last year. We’re sold out already, which is amazing.”

Wilkins, who is also a member of the hospital foundation, said the fun night will feature a live auction of various items and an art auction, along with the opportunity for online bidding.

There will also be a tasting of 26 different wines, ports, scotches and ice wines that are not available in Hay River. They have been specially brought in by the local liquor store, and people at the festival will rate the wines that they would like to see on sale in the community.

“It’s kind of neat,” said Wilkins. “It gets new stuff here for us in Hay River.”

–Paul Bickford