Bid on unique items at Junior Fair special interest auction

Alexander Vance, a member of the Clover Clippers 4-H Club, made a cedar birdhouse for his Woodwork Level 2 project at last year’s fair. It was auctioned off during the Special Interest Projects auction.

(Posted July 11, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

For the third straight year, the Madison County 4-H Committee is hosting an auction dedicated to youths exhibiting non-livestock projects.

Last year’s special interest auction brought in a total of $15,000. Forty 4-Hers submitted items to the auction. Over 200 people showed up to watch the sale, including approximately 75 individuals who picked up bidding numbers.

“We even had a bidding war happen among sets of grandparents,” said organizer Daphne Hedgecock. “We also had some people who gave us money to be used to make sure every youth made a certain minimum amount. Last year, that minimum worked out to be just over $200.”

Youths participating in the auction must submit items related to their fair project. They must create or assemble the items themselves; nothing can be pre-made. Each youth can enter one item for bidding.

Among the items on the auction block last year were an American flag decoration made out of cartridges from a shotgun, cupcakes decorated and displayed to look like a tractor, a birdwatching kit, baked goods, aprons, and quilts.

Lily Studebaker’s landscape painting was auctioned off at last year’s fair. She made it for her “Let’s Get Started in Art” project. She is a member of the Prairie Riders 4-H Club.

“I like the fact that the kids who aren’t taking livestock to the fair have an opportunity to sell and make a little money to spend on their project for next year,” Hedgecock said.

She also likes the learning opportunity the auction presents. The 4-H Committee makes thank-you cards featuring photos of the exhibitors holding their auction items. The youths write notes in the cards and send them to the winning bidders.

“That way, the kids learn the importance of thank-yous and reaching out to the community,” Hedgecock said.

This year’s special interest auction is set for July 13 at 5 p.m. in the Della Selsor Building. Potential bidders are asked to show up between 4 and 4:30 p.m. to register and peruse items before the auction begins.

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