It was another year of great revelry as the community got together, dressed in the Maritimes theme to support one of Stettler’s youth organizations, Heartland Youth Centre (HYC) and its main fundraiser of the year, Awesome Auction.
Celebrating its 25th year, the event was hosted on Saturday, June 3 at the Stettler Community Hall as guests and attendees played dress up as part of an East Coast Kitchen party.
“We were sold out and had 325 guests celebrating with us,” said Winnie Bissett, executive director of HYC. “And it was only fitting that we returned to our original Maritimes theme.”
The supper was exemplary, maintaining the standard of yesteryears with the staple steak and lobster, served by HYC volunteers, comprising of HYC parents, board members, teens and community volunteers; there was also a silent and live auction, followed by a dance.
According to Bissett, this is the major fundraiser of the year and is vital to meet their operating budget.
“Funds raised at the event support the operating costs of HYC,” Bissett said.
At the event, Bissett spoke about what a difference the community has made through its generosity over the years.
Stettler and area community were generous in donating auction items and there were a range of great steals.
Some of the unique items included, hand-painted Oilers and Flames hard hats; framed six DC Comics first editions; a P.E.I. trip for two including three nights at the Georgetown Historic Inn; an autographed McDavid jersey; an autographed Shane Doan hockey stick; a framed autographed Zeke Thurston photo and his winning bib.
However, it was Letty Docherty’s “House and Garden” quilt, which fetched the highest bid of the evening.
“Thank you to this awesome community for their support through volunteering, donations, attending the event and bids,” Bissett added.
“This event involved approximately 80 adult and teen volunteers from March 1 till June 4. And I’d like to thank them for their time and effort.”
This event started with a Radio Auction in 1992 and raised $2,800. Four years of Radio auctions and the committee decided to make the fundraiser more visible to the public. In 1996 they moved it to A&W. The A&W is also how the name Awesome Auction came about as in those days the A&W part was the beginning of the word Awesome. The event was held at A&W for four years and increased the funds raised to $11,000.
In 1997, the Legion built the HYC building and their membership boomed, but they needed to find a way to raise more funds at the annual auction. However, after trying a few different supper combinations, such as A&W burgers and beef on a bun, they decided to raise the bar by serving steak and lobster instead.
So starting in 2000, the Awesome Auction began a steak and lobster dinner, along with a silent and live auction and dance, and it has been a sellout every single year since then.