by Stephen Dafoe
The 23rd Annual Santa Store Auction in support of the Midstream Support Society is at Coach’s Corner in Morinville this weekend, but recent provincial COVID-19 changes have prompted a change in format.
For the first time in its 23-year history, the live auction will be a silent and blind auction.
“We have decided at our meeting to make a change to the live auction. Due to current changes with Covid-19, we are switching to a silent auction and blind auction,” said Joyce Preeper, one of the event organizers, in an email to Morinville Online.
Originally planned as a live auction with limited seating, those withing to bid will have two days to do so.
Bidding will take place Friday, Nov. 20, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 21 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“The public can view and bid on items displayed at Coaches Corner. Winners will be notified after 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. 50/50 tickets and tickets on liquor baskets will be available,” Preeper said.
Organizers are still hoping for lots of bids to purchase items for the Santa Store, which allows those struggling to obtain one major and one minor gift for their children.
Last year’s event raised more than $18,000.
“Children are feeling the uneasiness and worry that is overflowing around them. Hopefully, making Christmas somewhat normal by Santa bringing gifts under the tree will give at least a little positive experience,” Preeper told Morinville Online in an October interview about the event.
The annual auction has been a popular Morinville event for more than two decades and is the charity’s largest revenue source to help families in need provide a Christmas experience for their children.
Donors can still drop off at Coach’s Corner, or arrangements can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Joyce Preeper at 780-939-4307, Tina Gougeon at 780- 497-0957, Kal MacDonald at 780-939-2205, Lisa Piche at 780-292-5734, or Adam Parenteau at 780-720-8262.