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[Audio] Murray Lions Club Moves Auction to New Online Format

Todd Hatton, WKMS

The Murray Lions club is one of the oldest in the area, founded in 1939, and is also one of the largest in Kentucky - with 161 members. Their annual auction raises funds for community projects, from the KidSight program offering free vision screenings to young children to the local skate park and the renaissance park. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with Vice President and Auction Chair Paul McCreary about a change to their auction format - now moving to an online format with expanded opportunities for items and bidding.

The Murray Lions Club held previous auctions on radio and local-access television, but have decided to move to an online format after considering how people are buying items. They chose to partner with BiddingForGood, an organization that specializes in non-profit groups organizing auctions. McCreary says this is easier and more convenient for potential donors. It runs 24/7 and is mobile friendly, and also allows for some expanded big ticket items.

Some of the big ticket items include 4x4 pieces of the old Murray State Racers arena floor donated by MSU Basketball, with signatures on the flooring. Others include a weekend package to see the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, a trip to Cancun and a putter signed by golf legend Arnold Palmer. McCreary says local items include dinners to area restaurants, oil changes, ice cream and other gifts that have appeared in past auctions, too. New cars donated by Parker Ford will also be auctioned off at the live event on November 14 (6:30 pm at First United Methodist Church downtown).

Proceeds to go Lions Club Projects. This includes the KidSight Program, which provides free vision screening to pre-K and headstart children in Murray and Calloway County, also expanded to Graves and Ballard Counties. They did 2,700 screenings last year and roughly 12% of the kids had vision problems. They got early referrals to get their vision checked. Lions club also works with the Eye Foundation and helps pay for transplant services. They're also working on expanding the skate park in Murray's Central Park and the Renaissance Park downtown.

Early bird auction begins Monday September 7 at 8 a.m. with 24/7 bidding, closing in early October. Main auction event is October 12, culminating in live event downtown on November 14.

See the Murray Lions Auction Website

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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