MOUNT VERNON — Knox County residents have always found a way to take care of their own. Saturday, over 20 volunteers are expected to man the phone lines to take care of something that has been a part of Knox County going on 36 years — the Ohio Junior Miss Scholarship Program.
The annual OJM Radio Auction will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with over 200 items up for grabs during the 22nd auction.
“This is all made possible by over 150 generous community members,” said Barb Barry, OJM’s vice president of publicity. “These are primarily Knox County residents; we get donations from former junior miss participants and their families, but the bulk comes from right here in good old Knox County.”
The procedure is rather simple, Barry said. Those interested call the phone bank at 399-5633, tell the volunteer which item they would like to bid on, their bid, and their name and phone number. When calls come in, volunteers refer to a series of boards that display the current high bid, letting the caller know right away if their attempt is enough to take control of the item.
“It’s all pretty simple,” Barry said. “The highest bidder at 3 p.m. is the winning bidder.”
A list of auction items can be found on Page 8 and Page 9 of today’s News. Auction items will also be described during the event on 1300 WMVO radio.
Barry said the auction has always been a huge success for OJM; the money is used to fund scholarships for participants.
“The first year we were elated to raise $5,000. Over the past five to 10 years, we have seen $10,000 to $15,000 net,” she said. “In 21 years, we’ve raised over $212,000.”
She anticipates yet another good year, and said the items on this year’s list are consumer friendly, even with family budgets getting squeezed.
“Most of these items are things consumers use anyway,” she said. “We have regular bidders who will bid $25 on a $25 gift certificate because they will use it anyway, and the money goes to OJM.”
For those interested in donating items for auction, donations will be accepted up until 10 a.m. Saturday by calling Todd Hawkins at 399-5526.
Winning bidders will be called at the close of the auction. Items will be available for pick up Monday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Coshocton Avenue branch of First-Knox National Bank. Any item not picked up at that time will go to the second highest bidder.
Ohio Junior Miss participants arrive in Mount Vernon on Feb. 14. The program takes place Feb. 20 and 21 at the Knox County Memorial Theater.