By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
The Eastern New Mexico University Tele-auction started off the show Monday evening trying to raise money to pay for the programming for KENW-TV in what is a town effort.
The tele-auction was from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday and will continue from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m Saturday.
The 29th annual KENW-TV Tele-Auction will feature 2,000 items, ranging from in price of $5 to a vacation for two to London valued at $5,714.
The auction hit the air at 6 p.m. as auctioneers Doc Elder, Kevin Robbins, Steve Rooney, Kathy Elliott and Courtney Claybourne began reading the items and starting bids calmly and collectively. There was a buzz behind the cameras with telephone operators answering phone calls and computer operators updating the bid information.
“It takes about 55 volunteers to put the show on every night,” Sheryl Borden, marketing director for KENW-TV, said. “Tonight we have members of the Kiwanis Club, Portales Women’s Club and Altrusa Club help on the phones. On other nights, we’ll have the Portales National Bank, Clovis Community College and ENMU help out on the phones.”
Diane Lieb worked with the auctioneers, while Frankie King was in charge of the phone operators on Monday evening. Wanda Pettis was in control of the ‘think tank’, where volunteers take the bids, make calls to the bidders and confirm the amount and item they bid on.
ENMU students also help with the camera work, production and updating information on the computers. Kimberly Jones, Tirn Neal and David Tremonti were the ENMU students helping out on the computers.
Don Criss, the TV production services director at KENW-TV, said he works with audio and tape programmers along with other staff members in the production aspect of it.
“Live television is hard,” Criss said. “We have many people such as auctioneers, phone operators and production workers to put on the show.”
Criss, Borden and volunteers had to work under stressful conditions the last two years during the tele-auctions. Last year, they had computer problems and the year before, there was a tornado warning the tele-auction volunteers worked through.
Criss said five people work in the control room and four people work on the floor on the television cameras. He said a couple of people provide relief to the camera operators during the six-hour show.
To stir up more spending, the KENW Tele-Auction airs on DirecTV for the first time this year. it will reach places such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
You can find a complete list of tele-auction items in an insert in today’s News-Tribune. You can also view the items online at www.kenw.org, where bids are already being taken. To bid: Bidders must have an express bid number. To acquire a number, contact the station at 562-2112 or request one online at www.kenw.org.
KENW wants to raise at least $80,000 to help pay for the PBS programming such as Sesame Street, NewsHour With Jim Lehrer and Nova. KENW-TV spends $365,000 on programming each year.
Borden said restaurants such as Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut and Domino’s provide meals for the volunteers.