September 4, 2018
Story and photos by Brandon Steinert
The proceeds from items sold, underwriters, program ads and ticket sales netted more than $40,000 at the 40th Annual Big Benefit Auction in late August, which was themed “Clownin’ Around.” Funds raised benefit students directly through scholarships and program enhancements at Barton Community College.
Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Coleen Cape said she feels fortunate to have reached the foundation's goal.
“It is truly impossible to gauge the amount of hard work, support and generosity it takes to make an event such as our 40th Annual Benefit Auction a success," she said. "I wish time would allow for me to visit each and every donor, volunteer and attendee to offer my personal thanks; since that is simply not possible in a timely fashion, I hope they are all aware how grateful we are for their contributions.”
With the auction being the largest fundraiser for the Foundation each year, it is important for everything to come together. Successfully orchestrating this event is something both Cape and the Foundation Board of Directors know would be impossible without support from the community.
Cape said the Foundation is not "Clownin’ Around" when they offer their sincerest gratitude to the auction underwriters, including Advanced Therapy and Sports Medicine, Phil and Kim Grossardt, ILS, Nex-Tech and UMB Wealth Management.
“Their generosity and support were vital to the success of this event,” Cape said. “Of course, we would be remiss without sending out a huge shout out to the guys at the Columbus Club and to Carr Auction and Real Estate for making the evening run so smoothly.”
The annual scholarship honorarium, where auction-goers donate directly to a scholarship honoring a community member, raised about $10,000, all to be awarded in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year in the name of the Foundation Board of Directors member Sylvan Bleeker.
Roger and Mary Lou Murphy also donated a completely restored Cushman cycle to be auctioned during the collectors’ auction by Carr Auction and Real Estate in October. The proceeds will be added to the honorarium in memory of Sylvan.
For more information, contact the Barton Foundation office at (620) 792-1136.
Origin of Old Bill
In 1981, the Claflin Fire Department donated a stuffed buffalo head to the foundation auction. This unique item was christened as “Old Bill” and quickly became a mainstay of this annual event being auctioned off each year since. To date, Old Bill has netted almost $220,000 in support of academic scholarships and program enhancements. Since 2002, the money generated from the sale of Old Bill has taken on an additional purpose – to honor loyal supporters and donors to Barton Community College.