Lights, camera,bidding… KENW Tele-Auction begins

By Janet Bresenham

When the 27th annual KENW-TV Tele-Auction hits the airwaves this week, at least one group of Clovis volunteers will be helping raise money for the Public Broadcasting System station.
Clovis Community College staff and students plan to man the phones Friday night as bidders call in for a variety of items up for auction.
“The PBS station is just a tremendous part of this area,” said Beth DeFoor, CCC director of marketing and public relations. “If we can help in any way, we’re glad to do it. Besides, it’s a fun thing to do.”
The live tele-auction will air on PBS Channel 3 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 or 11 p.m. today through Saturday night from the broadcast studio on the main Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University.
But the coverage area for KENW-TV includes most of the east side of the state, including Curry and Roosevelt counties, as well as portions of West Texas, according to Sheryl Borden, director of marketing for the station’s fund-raising efforts.
“The tele-auction has continued to be our biggest fund-raiser all year,” Borden said. “It’s a win-win situation. It’s a chance for the donors to advertise; it benefits the bidders who are looking for a good bargain; and it’s good for the viewers of KENW-TV because it helps raise money to keep us on the air.”
Usually, the tele-auction brings in about $65,000 to $70,000, Borden said. The station’s annual operating budget is $365,000, she said.
DeFoor said the volunteers from Clovis Community College saw the KENW-TV Tele-Auction as a chance to help a neighboring school with a good cause that benefits residents in both Clovis and Portales.
“I think we have a good relationship with ENMU and a lot of our students transfer to Eastern,” DeFoor said. “We thought helping with the tele-auction would be a good way to show our camaraderie, especially since we’re only 20 miles apart. We also have students who live in Portales and come up to CCC, and we wanted to volunteer for something that is such a long-standing tradition at ENMU.”
This year’s highest bid item — at a minimum opening bid of $5,100 — will be a weeklong vacation in a five-star hotel in London, England, that includes spending Halloween evening in an 800-year-old castle, Borden said.
While the deluxe vacation to London will be the most expensive bid item, the weeklong event will offer all sorts of merchandise, gift certificates and other trips at various bid levels, Borden said.
“Our most popular board is what we call the ‘Quickie Board,’ which has items from $50-$99,” Borden said. “We have different themes for the boards, such as ‘Foods and More,’ that features things like gift certificates to restaurants, cookbooks and delicious Valencia peanuts from Roosevelt County.”
Another board offers “Celebrity Items,” which include music CDs, photos and other memorabilia from celebrities, such as a Jeff Foxworthy script and a gift basket from “Wheel of Fortune.”
“We also have the whole auction online now by going to www.kenw.org and clicking on ‘tele-auction,’” Borden said. “Bids can be taken online until 5 p.m. every day.”