By Tony Parra
Autographed photos of celebrities, a seven-day trip to England and a variety of gift certificates are among the items for bid at the 28th Annual Tele-Auction on KENW-TV.
The tele-auction begins on Memorial Day and will go through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening.
The tele-auction is the biggest fund-raising event for KENW, according to auction-coordinator Sheryl Borden. Borden said the money pays for KENW programming. Borden, who said she has been helping put the auction together for 17 years, said there are over 2,000 items in the auction, with a retail value of more than $130,000.
She said the show not only attract bidders from southeast New Mexico, but from around the United States. Borden said the Internet has made it easy for anyone to get an express bid number and bid on the items.
Callers must have an express bid number in order to place a bid on any item. People who want to get an express bid number can call KENW at 562-2112 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or they can get one online at www.kenw.org. Callers can set up a bid number during the tele-auction, but might not be able to do so in time to place a bid for a particular item.
Borden said an item will be displayed on television for two-minute increments and the telephone workers will receive bids from the viewers. The highest bidder after the two-minute segment will win the item.
Viewers can also bid in advance online, provided they have a bid number set up.
The showcase item this year is a vacation package for two to London Oct. 20-27, valued at $4,840. American Airlines will fly two to London and the winning bidders will have first class Brit Rail four-day Flex passes and will enjoy a three-night stay in a York, England, Marriott. The package also includes a “Ghost Walk” in York and a three-night stay at a Radisson hotel in Manchester.
The vacation will be sold Saturday night, with a starting bid of $1,936.
She said the most popular items are called quickie items, which are mostly gift certificates. Items include gift certificates for 15 ducks from the Privett Hatchery, Cattle Baron restaurant certificates, Wal-Mart gift cards and Portales Ace Hardware certificates to name a few. Many gift certificates are from across New Mexico.
“It’s a total station effort,” Borden said. “We have (ENMU) students help us.”
There are also autographed photos of celebrities, including Jim Carrey and John Travolta.
Borden said winning bidders can come by the television station to pick up their item, but sometimes items will be shipped to cities around the United States.
“Many things have changed since our first auction,” Borden said. “The generosity from the people hasn’t changed. People seem to enjoy it (auction) a great deal.”
Don Criss, KENW-TV’s director of production, has been participating in the event since its inception 28 years ago. He said KQED in San Francisco began doing the tele-auction and KENW station officials did it for their station. He said it’s worked out for them.
“We went through a tornado warning last year,” Criss said. “It was crazy. We (still) went through with the tele-auction and went on without a hitch.”
Borden said organizers and auction coordinators begin in January collecting and soliciting donations from various businesses. She said there are auction coordinators in Ruidoso, Roswell, Tucumcari, Clovis and Portales who solicit for the station.