Round 33: Lyle cancer auction back

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wayne and Joan Skove bid $700 last year for a jar of jam made by Joyce Duren of Lyle, just one of several generous bids made by people for the Lyle Area Cancer Auction over the years. -- Herald file photo

Lyle is ready for round 33 versus cancer.

After raising $138,000 last year, the Lyle Area Cancer Auction returns Friday at 6 p.m.

“It’s like no other auction,” said Larry Ricke, co-chairman of the Lyle Area Cancer Auction Committee. “It’s not a boring auction.”

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Every year, communities come together in Lyle to raise money and fight cancer at places like the Mayo Clinic, The Hormel Institute and the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center.

“We’re investing in a cure,” Ricke said.

The auction lasts until around 2 a.m. Saturday morning, or whenever the last item sells. On Friday, it breaks before midnight, then bidding picks back up around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. The money earned is pledged to the Eagles Cancer Telethon in Rochester on Sunday.

After raising well more than a million dollars in its 30-plus years, auction volunteers rarely have a goal in mind. Every little bit helps.

“If we’ve made $1, that’s $1 closer to a cure,” said Teresa Slowinski, who serves as co-chair for the auction with her husband, Russ.

Still, Ricke said the auction is well on its way to another strong year, as it’s more than just an auction: It’s a conglomeration of multiple events throughout the year, like Red, White and Pink, the Halfway to January Cancer Bash, the Farmboy Barbecue, Cruise for the Cure, Crop for a Cure, an iPad raffle, Cans for Cancer and the Lucille Johnson Pool Tournament.

So far, the earnings from the events have been strong.

“Every event was very successful,” he added.

Ricke said the success of the auction is largely due to the wide-spread reach of cancer.

“I have not met one person who has not been touched by cancer,” he said.

Volunteers have also been a key force keeping the auction going. Along with a dedicated core of the auction’s committee, Ricke estimated at least 600 people from the area have helped or volunteered.

“We’re very thankful for everybody that helps,” he said.

As Slowinski noted, the buyers have been very generous over the years.

“I’ve watched a jar of pickles sell for $600,” he said.