MOUNT VERNON — The 7th Annual Bell Auction at the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival left auctioneer Jerry Scott speechless Saturday night.
“This is neat. I didn’t see this one coming,” Scott said after being handed bell No. 7 by festival director Pat Crow.
Each year, one bell is purchased, through donations made by community members, to be presented to someone who donates of themselves toward the greater good of the festival.
“You can’t buy happiness from money. It comes from helping others,” said Dean Spearman, who did the bidding for the community service bell presentation.
The bell topped out at $2,250.
Past recipients of the community service bell are the late Tom Metcalf, Ron Staats, Kay Culbertson, Phil Samuel and Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.
Twelve bells, featuring the B&O Railroad Depot, were auctioned, raising nearly $6,000 for the festival’s general fund.
In addition, an original portrait collage featuring Sonny Geraci and Route 66, and a 12-string acoustic guitar signed by Geraci were auctioned.
Keith and Vickie Sant purchased both of the collectors items. The portrait sold for $180 and the guitar for $275.
“When I was a kid, we traveled to Albuquerque on Route 66, so it has special meaning to me,” Vickie said.
Jim Gresley of Mount Vernon said he was pleased to make his first bell auction purchase.
“I’ve been trying to get one for the last three or four years, but someone always outbids me,” Gresley said. “I made up my mind I was getting one this year. It really is for a good cause; we really enjoy the festival.”
Guy and Linda Dugan of Bladensburg purchased two bells for a total of $625, and said they are happy to add them to their growing bell collection.
“We bought bell No. 5 last year and we have bell No. 5 from the county’s bicentennial, so we wanted No. 5 this year,” said Linda.
In addition to the Dugans, North Central Insulation purchased two bells for a total of $800. Other bells were purchased by First-Knox National Bank, $300; Susan Ramser, $350; Wright Model A Parts, $325; Dale Yoder, $275; the T.L. Tharp family, $325; and Pat and Sandy Crow, $350.\