Local ‘Service above self’: Cullman Rotary holds annual auction | The Cullman Tribune


‘Service above self’: Cullman Rotary holds annual auction

Guests look over items in the live auction Friday night. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN - The Cullman Rotary Club held its 45th annual fundraising auction Friday evening at the Cullman Civic Center. An average of around 175 Rotarians and local citizens have attended recent auctions, and this year’s attendance may have reached 200. The event is the club’s only fundraiser, and it raised more than $56,000 last year. This year’s numbers won’t be known for a little while, but Cullman Rotary Club President Perry Shields hopes to exceed the 2017 total.

“Cullman comes out and supports the Rotary,” said Shields.  “I’ve been in Rotary nine years now; they come out and support the auction very well.  Each year, we make more money that we get to put back into the community.”

The president went on to talk about what the funds raised by the auction will do.

“What we do with this is we help organizations within Cullman County and outside of Cullman County also, similar to CCCDD (Cullman County Center for the Developmentally Disabled), The Link (of Cullman County), organizations that help other people, too.”

Fundraising Chairman Eli Howard added, “All the money that we raise stays here in Cullman, from this auction.  It goes to support local projects . . . We obviously support The Link, Childhaven, Good Samaritan Health Clinic, Cullman Area Workforce Solutions, and we provide books to area school libraries and scholarships for high school seniors.”

In addition to local causes, all Rotary clubs contribute to the international organization’s common cause of polio eradication.  Since the organization’s first mission in 1979, during which vaccines were administered to children in the Philippines, the number of Polio cases around the world has dropped by more than 99 percent.

Friday evening, multiple rows of tables were covered in items for a silent auction, while higher-end items for a live auction lined tables at the front of the auditorium.  Live auction selections included firearms and ammunition, firepits and grills, gardening supplies, home spa supplies, watches and other jewelry, furniture and bedding, a bicycle, 32- and 60-inch televisions, landscape and lawn care tools, garage and household tools, various retail and restaurant gift certificates, golf packages, meat bundle packages, recreational passes, a guitar, house paint and even packages of authentic Cuban cigars.

The auction was an all-hands-on-deck event for the Cullman Rotary Club’s 66 members, along with food servers from The Link and 25 to 30 members of Wallace State’s Rotoract Club.

“Rotary is about service above self,” said Shields.  “Rotarians are generally just business people in the area: owners of companies, owners of businesses, managers, whatnot.  They give back; they give back to the community.”

When asked if there was something he wanted to be sure Cullman knew about his club, Howard responded, “There’s not just one thing.  I mean Rotary is full of amazing people from Cullman that truly care about it and just want to help in any way possible. It’s not one thing; it’s all the things that Rotary does.”

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  • Members of Wallace State’s Rotoract Club set up the auction tables and helped out with various duties throughout the evening.
  • Visitors bid on items in the club’s silent auction.