The Caring for Conservation Auction has had to clear several hurdles to make the fundraiser happen this year.
The Jasper County Conservation staff was all geared up to have the second annual auction in the spring when the COVID-19 health crisis stopped everything in its tracks.
“Everything shut down literally the weekend before the event was supposed to happen and that was discouraging since it takes so much time to plan an event this large,” conservation assistant Jade Read said.
Read said the staff waited to see what would happen with the pandemic before setting a new event time. It was clear by the fall that having an in-person event this year was not going to be possible, so that’s when they began planning the auction using an online format.
“We still wanted to have it this year so we decided on December and felt it would be a great opportunity for people to get some holiday shopping in and we needed time to get the site up and running,” Read said.
The auction will be live from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at jasperia.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/CaringforConservationHolidayAuction/tabid/1190154/Default.aspx. The link for the auction can also be found on the event page on Facebook. Items available for auction can be viewed on the site before the event begins.
The auction is a fundraiser to aid in the construction of the Jasper County Conservation Environmental Education Center. It is planned to be built on the old county care facility next to the sheriff’s office. Read said the center will act as a hub for all things conservation in Jasper County. It will be a welcome center to help showcase the “natural beauty” of the county and a place for families to spend time together doing outside activities.
“On average, the Jasper County Conservation staff interact with nearly 20,000 people a year through education, videos, outdoor recreation and more,” Read said.
There are multiple ways for people to participate in the online auction. Of course, the first way is to join in the night of Dec. 5 and bid on items during the two-hour event. When you visit the online auction site, click on the red button in the upper right of the homepage to view the items up for bid. Each item will have a minimum starting bid and a guaranteed purchase price. After registering as a bidder, bids can be placed on items once the auction is underway.
The conservation is offering a second option for those who may be uncomfortable buying items online. They are invited to come to the conservation office to view items ahead of the auction. If they agree to purchase the item for the guaranteed purchase price, they can win the item before the action begins.
“We have already had two items bought at the guaranteed purchase price. If you don’t feel comfortable coming in, you can always call our office and pay over the phone,” Read said.
The auction features a lot of themed baskets and experiences. People can also win items like a paddle board, fishing trip, hot air balloon ride, art work, fire pit, handmade items and more. Read credits many people for helping make the event happen.
“We have had a lot of generous donations, but we would first and foremost like to thank our main sponsors. The Jeweler’s Bench, Dodd’s Trash Hauling & Recycling and Jeff & Jodi King. For the complete list of all our sponsors and donors you can visit our auction information site under the ‘Support our Supporters’ tab,” Read said.
Even though this year’s online auction has been “trying” at times, the conservation staff still hopes to have a successful even to help support the conservation’s education center.
“We would really appreciate every member of the community to participate in this online auction! We have worked hard to put this together and our community needs to come together if we are going to get this education center built,” Read said.
Contact Pam Pratt at 641-792-3121 ext. 6530 or email@example.com