WADSWORTH — It came right down to the wire, but the Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce upheld its tradition of auctioning off 60 Easter baskets within 60 minutes during its Easter Basket Scholarship Auction on Wednesday.
Auctioneer Joe McNeill made his way through an array of baskets, ranging from a discovery flight over Wadsworth donated by AeroTrek Flight Academy to a Coach handbag donated by the Wadsworth Fencing Club, in 59 minutes.
The airplane ride went for $110, while the designer bag brought $225.
“I think it is so wonderful that our chamber community supports us, because in May then I am able to award scholarships,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janie Parish said immediately following the event at The Galaxy Restaurant and Banquet Center in Wadsworth.
Colorful bidding paddles sprang into the air as chamber board members and volunteers donning Easter bunny ears walked around the room showcasing each basket as it was up for grabs.
City Councilman and Chamber of Commerce Executive Board member Tom Stugmyer was one of four sporting the ears during the auction.
“What is really nice is all the people that come out here,” Stugmyer said.
Stugmyer said it is wonderful to see people bidding with their hearts, and not necessarily based on the dollar value of each basket.
Wadsworth Schools Superintendent Andrew Hill said it is great how the Wadsworth community comes out to support its school district.
“Janie and the chamber members and everybody, it is just phenomenal what they do for our students,” Hill said during the event. “We get a chance to see it in action every year at this part, but also watch the kids receive these scholarships come May.”
“We are just very thankful, this community is so supportive of our schools and this is just another example,” Hill added.
Established by Shirley Gorman and Karen Wilson in 1996, the annual event has raised more than $106,000 in book scholarships for graduating Wadsworth High School seniors over the years.
Parish said previously the idea behind the auction is to provide $500 scholarships for graduating seniors that will be furthering their education in a business-related field.
The Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce typically awards about 10 book scholarships each year, in addition to the $1,000 David B.Hopkins Memorial Scholarship.
In memory of late Chamber of Commerce Treasurer David B. Hopkins, the scholarship is awarded to a graduating Wadsworth High School senior pursuing a degree in accounting.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, Parish said.
The total raised from Wednesday’s auction was not immediately available.