By Josh Holderbaum
Buyers turned out to a local auction for good deals and to help fund operations for a local pregnancy center.
The Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center’s 19th annual auction was held March 6 at Lighthouse Community Church, 4321 S. 11th St., Oshtemo.
The auction included both a silent and live portion, along with a spaghetti dinner, catered by Qdoba Mexican Grill and a supervised bounce house for kids.
“This year’s auction has gone very well,” Kathy Bowman, APCC event coordinator, said. “We’ve had more bidders this year: we had 140 this year and we had 81 last year.”
Funding for the auction supported Alternatives PCC’s day-to-day operations including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and HIV screening.
The silent auction included 200 items including a driftwood painting of Santa Claus, fax machines, cakes and other food items, mint in package Barbie dolls, passes to Full Blast, Air Zoo tickets and Civic Theatre admission, among others.
Following the silent auction, there was the live auction, auctioneered by the Rev. Wybren Oord from Covenant United Reformed Church of Kalamazoo, who has worked the auction for the past three years.
Despite his experience, Oord quickly pointed out he didn’t make a living auctioneering.
“I must remind you that I am not a professional,” Oord said before the live auction’s start. “If you want to bid, I need you to raise your hand up high.”
Items for the live auction included a pool table, a processed load of topsoil, a share in Alternatives PCC, a guided pheasant hunt, a WMU football signed by quarterback Tim Hiller, and an autographed Detroit Lions football and Detroit Tigers baseball.
Among the autographed sports memorabilia was a pink and purple football autographed by the staff of Alternatives PCC.
“We wanted to get a pink football to compete with the Lions football and see what goes higher,” Bowman said.
Dave Bos, Alternatives PCC executive director and sole male staff member, was less than enthused about the ball’s colors.
“They want me to sign a pink football,” Bos said prior to the event. “I can’t believe that.”
Bos eventually signed on the ball’s purple side, making his signature harder to see.
The Lions football sold for $190 and the Alternatives PCC one for $25, with the WMU football going for $50 and the Tigers baseball for $65.
The auction-goers included Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker, a returning buyer.
“I’ve been coming for several years now,” Schuitmaker said. “It’s a very worthy cause: it’s in everyone’s interest to reduce teen pregnancy and unnecessary abortions. [Alternatives] provides a great service.”
But being a veteran auction-goer doesn’t guarantee winning.
“I didn’t get anything last year,” Schumaker said. “I had bid on lots of things but I left early to go to another event and my bids got raised up.”
For more information on Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center, visit www.pregnancychoices.com.