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Annual Hat & Cap Auction A Big Success
A Lions Club in a small northern Illinois community came up with a unique fund-raising idea that has turned into a successful, day-long annual event.
The Ransom, Ill., Lions Club recently held its 14th annual Hat & Cap Auction. Hats, caps, T-shirts, belt buckles, jackets, and other memorabilia are donated by various sources and are auctioned off to the more than 200 bidders that show up for the sale, which always begins at 9:30 a.m. on the first Saturday in March.
"We send out 1,000 solicitation letters to seed corn companies, construction and trucking industries, sporting goods stores, professional sports teams, and other similar organizations," says club president Dale Johnson. "We average 600 to 700 hats and caps, 50 to 100 T-shirts, and a lot of other items such as farm toys and even an autographed photo of the Miami Dolphins football team."
Some seed corn caps go for $25 or more, while more than half sell for $5 to $6, he says.
Bidding, which is conducted only by seasoned auctioneers, continues until all the items are sold, usually around 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon, he says.
"The item that brought the highest price so far was a 3 by 5-ft. hand-carved wooden Chicago Bulls sign," Johnson says. "It went for $500 three or four years ago."
Proceeds from the auction go to sup-port a number of local Lions Club causes, such as a children's eyeglass project, a guide dog program, and local playground and ball diamond.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert or Ruth Widman, R.R. 1, Ransom, Ill. 60470 (ph 815 586-4610) or Dale Johnson, 109 N. Garfield, Ransom, Ill. 60470 (ph 815 586-4644).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3