OTTUMWA - Table after table was covered in items from knick knacks to books, and every item was being sold to provide scholarship money for Indian Hills Community College students.
Rhonda Conrad, executive director of the Indian Hills Foundation, said that the scholarship auction was one of the events that they host throughout the year to raise money to award to students through the scholarship program. Conrad has been heading the project since 2007 and has worked at the college for 25 years.
“This event usually brings in anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000 for the day,” Conrad said. “It really changes each year depending on the items that are donated.”
This year is the 37th foundation scholarship auction, and it draws a bigger and bigger crowed every year. Everything from vehicles to furniture as well as computers, plants, books, knick knacks and all kinds of household items were being sold.
Collections for the auction usually start in the fall the year before the next auction is scheduled. Many of the donations come in from faculty at the college, but most of the big ticket items are donated by area businesses and the college itself.
“The items come in from all around the community,” Conrad said. “It's different every year, and every year we have amazing amounts of support.”
This year there are over 200 computers being auctioned off. Conrad said that the college tries to update the computer labs every four years, so when the labs are restocked with newer computer models, the older models are set aside and saved for the auction. Many electronics are auctioned off including laptops, desktops and projectors.
“It takes a huge number of volunteers to pull this auction off year after year,” Conrad said. “But it also takes a lot of community members to come out, and we really appreciate their support.”