"The auction has been going on for so many years and with any event, every now and then, it's time to make some changes just to make it more exciting," said Steve Deere, auction publicity chair.
This year Rotary members hope to bring some excitement by offering the auction through its Web site: www.sikestonrotary.org.
"New viewers and new bidders -- that's the bottom line," Deere said. "We hope by having the auction available through Internet will help the auction grow and become more of a fixture and help more of the local causes or charities," Deere said.
Scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 14-16, the auction will again be broadcast on Sikeston Public Schools' cable channel 12 and now through its Web site.
Kim Heckemeyer, auction chair, said the Sikeston Rotary Club has talked about going online for years.
"Rich Wrather originally came up with idea before he passed away, and we decided to go through with it this year with the intention of expanding viewership," Heckemeyer said.
Television viewers can visit the Rotary Web site and view the same exact thing online, Heckemeyer said, adding there will be about a three-second delay.
Also new this year will be local celebrities auctioneering items, Heckemeyer said. Those individuals include Sgt. Dan Armour and retired Capt. Jim Haley of Sikeston Department of Public Safety; Dr. Cully Bryant of Ferguson Medical Group; Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter; and Sikeston High School student Rachel Beydler, who starred in and created the state's safety belt public service announcement.
"The Rotary's goal, as with any civic organization, is to make as much money as possible so we can continue to put as much money possible back into the community," Heckemeyer said.
Proceeds are used by the local Rotary to fund projects and services for more than 20 area charities. These projects include Sikeston Rotary Park, local Boy and Girl Scouts organization, college scholarship fund, local YMCA building projects, youth baseball and softball and a long-range project for the beautification of Sikeston.
Deere said the Rotarians are hopeful the online access to the auction will be successful.
"(This year) we mainly want to get the word out to public it's there. To do that, we need proper publicity, and we hope to get some hits on it, and by next year, it will really be a major player," Deere said.
Heckemeyer said she thinks the availability for people to view the auction online will have great effect and expand viewership significantly.
Following and during each night's auctions, successful bidders may pick up their items at the Clinton Building on Campanella Drive. A list of the items to be auctioned will appear in the Standard Democrat on the days prior to the auction.
"We've had good support over years," Deere said. "... We hope to continue to bring products and services through the auction for the public to enjoy -- and the public is helping us help charities by participating, and we appreciate it."