LAC comes back strong; raises $177,500 at 43rd auction

Published 2:17 pm Monday, January 17, 2022

There were a lot of unknowns going into this year’s Lyle Area Cancer Auction, but by the end of the day Saturday, organizers found out what they knew for sure — the LAC is surrounded by support.

After not having a typical LAC last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LAC returned this year and raised an eye-opening $177,500 off of the two-day event.

The last time they reached six figures, was in 2019, the year before the pandemic when the event hauled in $170,500.

“The people were pouring out their hearts,” said co-chair Larry Ricke on Monday. “It was amazing.”

There were a few questions facing organizers heading into this year’s event. 

They were uncertain how their new method of garnering items for auction would go this year. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the LAC chose not to solicit items directly in order to avoid putting a burden on businesses. Instead, they relied on businesses and people to donate what they could.

And of course there was the ongoing pandemic itself, as well as the snow storm that affected travel Friday evening.

“Put all of those things into the mix,” Ricke said. “Whatever we do we do. That’s the best we can do.”

But from the very beginning Friday night, organizers had a pretty good idea where things were heading.

Bidding took off early and vigorously and continued through the night and into Saturday.

“How do you attribute it?” Ricke asked. “You can think we haven’t had an auction for a couple years; they are itching to donate. We really don’t know. We can assume everything.”

“They weren’t afraid to raise their hands,” he added.

That was reflected in some of the items and what they went for. A certificate for a pie from Bubble’s Cafe in Adams went for $700. An eagle carving by Chuck Berg went for $1,000 with the Berg’s daughter matching it for a total of $2,000.

A carved American flag sold for $2,300, and the list goes on.

A cash raffle that organizers only started selling a couple weeks before sold over 1,100 tickets and brought in $10,000.

“That’s the support we have … every year,” Ricke said. 

Over the 43-year span of the LAC, the annual event, together with its many partners, has raised around $3.275 million dollars and is a testament to what people can do when coming together for a cause.

It’s these people — both individually and the individual events — that make the LAC tick.

“It’s overwhelming,” Ricke said. “They do an awesome job. It is overwhelming. You can’t explain the satisfaction when they come and do their presentation and the amount of money they raise.”

The LAC contributed their money raised to the annual Eagles Telethon that was held Saturday and Sunday in Rochester.

Ricke said there was really only one way to end this year’s LAC.

“All capitals … THANK YOU,” he said. “You see people out there that they’ve been touched by cancer. It doesn’t matter what the cost (to bid), you see them raising their hands non-stop until they get it.”