July 16th, 2019

SCF’s annual fundraiser moves from the Corona to the Stampede grounds

By Collin Gallant on December 6, 2018.

Darren Lutz does what he's best known for — auction off items at a fast speed — during last year's annual auction for the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund. This year's auction won't be at the Corona Hotel but at the Cypress Centre on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018.

Medicine Hat News

There is a new night and new location, but organizers of the annual Santa Claus Fund Auction say the event has the same great volunteers in support of the same great cause.

The event, formerly known as the Corona Auction, was held at the establishment near North Railway Street for nearly three decades to help provide gifts for children and food vouchers to families in need.

This year the event moves to the fieldhouse at the Cypress Centre at the Medicine Hat Exhibition grounds, with entertainment starting at 4 p.m on Saturday, Dec. 8, and the charity auction following at 7 p.m. sharp.

“We’re hoping to see all our favourites back again and some new people who haven’t been to an auction before so they can experience a great evening,” said Deanna Doerksen, executive director of the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund.

More than $800,000 has been brought in over the 27 years the auction has been held. That’s thanks to corporate sponsors who donate merchandise, and bidders’ generosity.

That’s not to mention Corona Hotel manager Lorraine Schmaltz, who has organized the auction since its inception, and Darren Lutz, who’s overseen the proceedings as chief auctioneer. Both are back again to take part in their 28th annual event.

Schmaltz said newcomers shouldn’t be nervous about taking part, and should realize that the night isn’t a typical auction sale, but rather a night to have fun and make merry.

“People really aren’t buying, they’re really making a donation and taking an item home,” she said, outlining that the items up for bid range from small decorations to hockey tickets, to some higher-valued items. There’s a good variety for many tastes, she said.

Both Doerksen and Schmaltz are looking forward to the new format, which will include food, full drink service, and local bands providing entertainment.

“We have a new partner with the Medicine Hat Stampede,” said Doerksen. “We’re able to accommodate more people, and on a Saturday night, where previously he had to have it on Thursdays. We’re really excited.”

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