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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Staff Writer
This past Sunday was the 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and although there was never a threat of an invasion, if you tuned into WLSK 100.9 MIKE FM from 1 to 5 p.m., it may have sounded like a major military operation was underway as code names and other mysterious sounding dialog filled the airwaves for a few hours. Opposing sides traded counterstrikes and strategic moves were made, but listeners were never in harm's way. It was only the annual Lions/Rotary radio auction taking place.
This event has become a local favorite as area merchants and individuals donate a wide variety of items for sale to benefit the two organizations. Proceeds from the auction help the Lions Club with its community activities, and the Rotary Club uses its funds to offer scholarships to students.
Listeners called in their bids and tried to win items. Many used code names because they were shopping for someone on their Christmas list and wanted to keep their identity secret.
"It's always fun to hear what code names the bidders come up with," said radio host and Rotary member Hal B. Goode.
The headquarters were centered at the Simms and Montgomery office located on Main Street in Springfield. There was a flurry of activity in the front of the building where calls were being taken and workers scribbled down the latest bids. Tucked away in a conference room in the rear was the broadcast center, where Goode took to the airwaves aided by a host of special guests that included Ralph Blandford, Craig Arnold and Judge Doughlas "Dodie" George.
It wasn't unusual to see Washington County High School student Matthew Goode racing from the front to the back alongside Springfield Mayor John W. Cecconi as they delivered the latest bids to the radio hosts.
Among the items offered this year were tickets to various sporting and entertainment events, several hundred feet of drainage pipe, an electric grill, tools, gift certificates to area restaurants and merchants, scholarships to St. Catharine College and various distilled beverages.
This year's auction raised just over $8,000, up from last year's total.
"We did better than last year," said Margaret Goatley. "That's really good considering the time. We had over 200 different items donated. The treasurer has already collected $7,100 and we have at least $1,000 that will be coming in. It was a good year."
If you missed out on this year's auction, you have all year long to plan your attack strategy for next year and to work on your secret code name.