By Tony Parra
The beginning to the KENW-tele auction wasn’t what organizers had planned on, but all the kinks were worked out before the second day of the tele-auction and they were able to raise over $55,000.
“It started off rocky when our computers locked down on Monday,” KENW tele-auction coordinator Sheryl Borden said. “We finally had to go off air at 9 p.m. We had Gary Darrow, a computer specialist, fix it. He worked on it on Monday and again for a couple hours on Tuesday. The tele-auction ran smoothly from Tuesday until Saturday.”
The tele-auction was scheduled to take place each night beginning on Monday from 6-11 p.m. until Saturday.
Darrow is an applications developer at Eastern New Mexico University. He said there were too many photos and graphics loaded into one database on a computer.
“The first night they ran into a problem with size-limit on the graphics items on the database,” Darrow said. “We corrected the problem and were able to separate the graphics into three different databases and link them together.”
In an earlier interview before the tele-auction began, Borden said this was going to be the first year they would have photos of restaurants and places which offered the certificates. She said the amount of items they had for the auction was down and the amount of money they raised was down.
Joyce Hagan of Portales won the 2004 showcase item, a vacation package for two to London, valued at $4,840.
However, she won’t be making the trip. Hagan also won the trip last year and decided to give it to her daughter, Collate Welsing and Welsing’s husband, John. Hagan said she will give the trip as a present to them this year, also. Hagan said her daughter attended Portales High School and ENMU and lives in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Last year, I didn’t know I had won it until I showed up to KENW to pay for some of the other items I placed bids on,” Hagan said. “They told me I owed so much and I said, ‘What?’ Then they told me I had won the trip. I gave my children the trip as a surprise.”
Borden said Hagan won the trip with a bid of $2,500. Hagan said it was quiet a bargain considering the trip was valued at $4,800.
“They (Welsings) said they had a marvelous time last year,” Hagan said. “They brought back photos of their trip. They said they were treated royally.”
Borden said there were 30,000 less items this year and $20,000 less raised. She said she is hopeful they’ll be able to raise an additional $10,000 from the remaining 18,000 items and gift certificates which were not sold in the auction. People interested in purchasing any of the remaining 18,000 items can go to the KENW Web site (www.kenw.org) and purchase them there, according to Borden.
Borden said the $55,000 raised from the tele-auction will cover a part of the $380,000 costs for programing such as Sesame Street, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Nova.