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Operation St. Nick hosts its 31st annual radio auction

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 11:03 p.m. CDT

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MORRIS – With the April flood and the tornado just last month, Operation St. Nick has put out more money in aid than originally planned for this year.

But Operation St. Nick’s mission is to help those in need and it is always able to give thanks to the organization’s generous donors, said Joe Schmitz, Operation St. Nick founder and president. He hopes those loyal donors will step up again during Sunday’s 31st annual radio auction from 8 a.m. to noon on WCSJ AM 1550 and FM 103.1.

“Last year it raised $110,000. We don’t ever really have a goal [amount], but this year is a little different because of the flood victims,” he said. “We spent $15,000 [to help them] and $25,000 for victims of the tornado. So that is $40,000 we didn’t anticipate, but some how the donors always seem to come in.”

Operation St. Nick is a nonprofit organization that works to help Grundy County families in need throughout the year with programs for Christmas, Back to School and for veterans. One of the newest ideas is a literacy program where it buys new books for local school libraries.

The event will have more than 16 auction items that people will be able to call in and bid on and hundreds of more items ranging from $100 to $1,000 available to buy.

Some of the big-ticket items include a a 1952 “Spin Top” Coke machine and a 1934 Ford Roadster Go Kart, both donated by Morris Cruise Night members.

For about three years now, the cruise night committee has donated items to the auction. Before that it donated cash, but members decided to take that cash and use it to buy and build items for the auction to raise even more money for St. Nick, said Herb Wyeth of Morris Cruise Night.

The Coke machine was restored by the committee.

“It was in good shape,” Wyeth said. “Mechanically we did a lot to make it work, but the appearance, we didn’t do anything but clean it up.”

The “radical rod” go kart was custom built from its tube chassis to the paint job.

“It was a long, hard project, but I hope it draws a lot of money for them,” Wyeth said.

The items from the Morris Cruise Night committee last year brought in more than $9,000 alone for St. Nick, Schmitz said.

Other auction items include a whole house generator from Baker Electric in Morris that has a value of $2,250, a President John F. Kennedy autograph framed with photos with a starting bid of $2,000 and 2013 Blackhawks autographed limited edition photos of Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford and Patrick Kane, all framed, with a starting bid of $500.

The auction has something for everyone, Schmitz said, including sports items, jewelry, art work, Christmas decorations, collectibles and excursions.

People can get a close-up look at the auction and higher-end items at Standard Bank, 1111 W. Route 6, Morris, and at the $300, $200 and $100 items in the Athletic Outfitters window at 409 Liberty St., Morris. Items will be on display at both locations until noon Saturday.

Take PartWhat: Operation St. Nick 31st Annual Radio AuctionWhen: 8 a.m. to noon SundayWhere: Broadcast on WCSJ AM - 1550 and WCSJ FM - 103.1How: To bid call 815-941-1000 ext. 101. If you get a busy signal call 815-252-3860, 815-228-3860 or 815-975-4369.View items: People can get a close up look at the auction and higher-end items at Standard Bank, 1111 W. Route 6, Morris, and at the $300, $200 and $100 items in the Athletic Outfitters window at 409 Liberty St., Morris. Items will be on display at both locations until noon Saturday.Online: Visit morrisdailyherald.com for a complete list of the auction and sale items by clicking on the Operation St. Nick advertisement.

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