"When you've done it for so long, you forget exactly how the process works," admitted auction co-chair Laura Green. "It's hard to explain."
But there's definitely structure to the event that area residents have come to expect every November for over 30 years. And there's definitely a lot of teamwork involved.
"If you ask someone to do something, it gets done." Green said. "If everybody does a little bit, it seems to run smoothly."
Steve Deere, who heads auction publicity, praised the club's 46 members, their spouses, children and friends for their good participation.
"This club pitches in and a lot of the older members know what to do and get it done. The new members help, too, and it's really a team effort," Deere said. This week Deere began placing signs around town to advertise the auction, which will air from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10 on Sikeston cable channel 12.
To prepare for the event, different tasks are divided up among club members, who choose which job and shift they want to work, explained auction co-
chair Mike Moll.
"We have people answering the phones, auctioning items, taking bids, running -- and doing all kinds of things," Moll said.
As co-chairs, it's Green's and Moll's job to oversee and ensure all of the jobs are carried out.
"The first thing we do is send out letters for donations and contact businesses who have been very supportive of the auction from year to year," Moll said.
About a couple weeks prior to the auction, club members will spend time picking up items from merchants and storing them at the Bootheel Counseling Center.
During this time, member Bob Smith, who's in charge of operations, collects data of donated items and begins organizing it into a database.
"He logs them into a time slot of when they will be auctioned off," Green said. Once complete, the list is taken to the Standard Democrat for publication.
Prior to the auction, member Ken Williams is responsible for contacting the telephone company to connect the telephone lines and ensuring there are enough land lines for the event. Approximately eight lines are planned for use this year, and the Rotary uses the same phones the Kenny Rogers Children's Center uses for its telethon in the spring.
Rotary vice president Bill Odom is responsible for contacting Steve Beydler, who is in charge of television production at the Sikeston Career and Technology Center. Beydler and his students volunteer their time to broadcast the program over the three-day period.
"Students volunteer in various shifts, and it's -- at minimum -- a three-
person job," Odom said. "And they do a great job."
The day before the auction begins, equipment is set up, hooked up and tested at the Sikeston Clinton Building, where the auction takes place. Once everything's in place, the show is ready to go on.
And it's an event that has become a fall and early winter tradition for the community, Deere said.
"It's the QVC effect. They see. They bid, and it's fun," Deere said about why the community likes the event.
Proceeds from the event are used by the local Rotary to fund projects and services for more than 20 area charities. The Rotary Club is also working jointly with the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce to construct multiple "Welcome to Sikeston" signs in the community.
The Rotary Club is grateful to all of the merchants and businesses that make the auction possible each year, Moll said.
"Without the merchants, the auction wouldn't be possible," Green added. Following and during each night's auction, successful bidders may pick up their items at the Clinton building, located on Campanella Drive in the Sikeston Sports Complex. Watch for a list of auction items to appear in upcoming editions of the Standard Democrat.