The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 29, 2013

'Every little bit helps:' Annual Indian Hills scholarship auction raises thousands

OTTUMWA — Every item at Indian Hills Community College's auction, from a Christmas knick-knack to a truck, adds up to dollars awarded to Indian Hills students through academic scholarships.

Rhonda Conrad, director of the Indian Hills Foundation, said the 36th annual scholarship auction is one of three main special events the foundation hosts each year.

"We raise anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 every year," Conrad said. "It really depends on the big ticket items, such as cars, which we don't have this year. We have two trucks this year, but they're older. A few years ago, we had a nice boat that went for around $3,000. All the smaller items, the ones that go for 25 cents or $1, it takes awhile for those to add up. But the big ticket items are what makes the difference to make it to $30,000."

This year, though, the foundation received a lot of computers: around 80 laptops and 120 desktops.

"Those do add up," Conrad said. "A lot of it is college things that we are no longer able to use. The computers came from the student labs. We try to update them every four to five years to stay up with technology. A lot also come from classrooms and offices."

The money raised goes toward general fund scholarships at a minimum of $600 a piece. New or returning students who apply must carry at least a "B" average.

"It's not a lot of money, but every little bit helps," she said.

Local businesses also donated new and used items, as well as gift certificates, to the auction.

"Staff members donated all kinds of stuff to the country store," she said. "But they also gave big stuff, too, like fridges and furniture."

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