When the bidding concluded at the 2008 Rotary Auction on TV COGECO and when the telephones were finally silent and all of the volunteers had gone home - $50,145 had been raised by the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (Windsor-Essex County Chapter) for important service work in our community.

Thanks to the many volunteers who made the event successful. They earned a much deserved rest last Sunday, following two hectic evenings of the televised auction.

"Many hours of planning and preparation go into the auction," says Paul Charbonneau, chair of the 2008 organizing committee. "Without the generosity of local business donating the gifts, we wouldn't have an auction. I would like to thank them all for their community-minded spirit. This year we received 377 items. The close to 50 volunteers, both Rotarians and others, who staffed the telephones and worked behind the scenes, deserve to be congratulated for a fine job. And the Windsor and Essex County community deserves a pat on the back for coming through for us in these difficult economic times. The Windsor Star was instrumental in promoting the auction and also deserves a vote of thanks."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation uses the monies raised to fund research, health promotion, and community improvement projects while the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair also uses the money raised to benefit the community, and beyond. In the past, monies raised at the auction have benefited projects like the Ganatchio Trail, Shanfield Shores, and the Rotary boundary-free playground in the Town of Tecumseh.

This was the 22nd year that the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair has partnered with TV Cogeco to present a television auction and plans will soon be underway for the event next year. "The staff at Cogeco does a fabulous job for us," says Charbonneau. "and as soon as we close the books on 2008, planning will begin for next year."

It's never too early to start thinking about next year, especially regarding the positions of Auction Chair and Gift Chair. If anyone is interested in knowing more about these two roles, please let Paul Charbonneau know. The 2008 organizers will be sending thank you letters to sponsors and gift donors in the next couple of weeks thanking them for their participation and asking them to donate again next year. It would be great if we could direct interested parties to the new Gift Chair for next year while thanking them for participation this year.