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Online auction aims to raise thousands to grant seniors' wishes

'Our first year, we did 75 gift bags and we thought that was a lot. Now we are up to 3,000. It’s amazing the generosity of the community and how they come together,' says organizer

For more than a decade, the Senior Wish Association has been working hard to improve the quality of life for seniors.

The local charitable organization  with the help of local business A Touch of Class Auction & Appraisal Service  will host its second annual online auction to raise money that will allow them to continue to grant wishes to local seniors as well as to purchase gifts over the course of the year for birthdays and other special occasions. 

Over the last few weeks, organizers have been collecting donations, ranging from gift cards and certificates for local products and services to home décor, antiques and collectibles, small kitchen appliances and rounds of golf, all of which will be auctioned off beginning Thursday, June 9 and running until approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. 

All of the money raised from the six-day auction will go directly back into helping seniors in Simcoe County, noted board chair Patricia Imrie. 

“The auction is a way to help us raise funds so that we can supply our wishes, our memory books and the necessities we have for our seniors to make them feel better,” Imrie told BarrieToday, while sorting through a table full of donated items.

Last year was the first time the organization hosted its online auction and it ended up being a huge success, she said, adding they were able to raise $5,000 from the inaugural event.

“We really thought it was a great opportunity, especially with COVID, to raise money because it was virtual and it’s easier for us,” she said.

They are hoping to raise even more money from this year’s event. 

Board member Krista Richards owns the local auction house and donated her services to catalogue all donated items as well as to run the online auction on behalf of the organization, added Imrie.

“People always come to Krista when they have houses to unload so what better way to do this,” she said. 

The auction, added Richards, is a fun way to raise much-needed funds for the charity. 

“It really (gets people) involved… when they’re bidding they get invested. Sometimes they want something so bad they will keep going that extra $5 to get it,” she said. “Plus, it adds to the variety of things we do throughout the year.”

Being able to provide wishes to local seniors is getting harder each year, acknowledged Imrie.

“The funds are limited, but what we use these (funds) for is at Christmas we always try to supply every senior that is alone with a gift. We have about 3,000 (seniors) that we distributed gifts to last year. Throughout the year we do things like (our) Spring Fling, where we gave them windchimes… this allows us to do things more often.”

Founded in 2011 by her mother Barb Richards, the number of people the Senior Wish Association helps has grown significantly, Richards told BarrieToday.

“Our first year, we did 75 gift bags and we thought that was a lot. Now we are up to 3,000. It’s amazing the generosity of the community and how they come together (to help). It’s not just Christmas, it’s all year round.”