Fewer donations, bidders for KENW auction

By Argen Duncan

A live buffalo is up for bid in this year’s KENW online fundraising auction.

The buffalo, a 3-year-old male pet belonging to a Portales man, is for sale along with about 820 other items — ranging from an autographed Green Bay Packers football to out-of-production Barbie dolls to couches. The auction runs through 6 p.m. Thursday and proceeds help pay for programming.

Sheryl Borden, who organizes the auction, said items have received fewer bids this year, and so far people aren’t trying to out-bid each other.

“I know it’s been the hardest year I’ve had getting merchandise or sponsors,” she said. “We’re down on both.”

Borden believes the economy is the reason and said she felt fortunate to have what was donated.

Golf items, restaurant gift certificates, peanuts and a registered angus bull are the most popular with bidders, she said. About 250 items have yet to receive bids.

Recently retired program director Linda Stefanovic said KENW has four pledge drives per year, but the auction is the biggest fundraiser. The money allows the station to keep operating.

“This is even more important now that our funding keeps getting cut,” she said.

After the auction ends, Borden said, she will send invoices to winning bidders and they’ll be able to pay for and pick up their purchases or arrange to have them shipped June 14-21. She expects to put unclaimed and unsold items back up for online auction at discounted prices after June 21.

The auction began live on the air in 1975 and went online four years ago. Borden has seen participation from bidders as far away as Minnesota.

“I’m amazed that we have people who find us,” she said.

Borden said the fundraiser brings in an average of $50,000 to $55,000 toward the $385,000-per-year budget.