COVID-19 Forces CET / ThinkTV to Make Changes to Live Auction


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The coronavirus pandemic has caused PBS stations in Dayton and Cincinnati to change their biggest money generator.

For more than 50 years, the live auction has been the largest annual fundraiser for CET and ThinkTV.

“We still have a lot of faith, a lot of faith that our customers will find us, bid, bid high and bid often,” says Dr. O’dell Owens, who is in his tenth year as auction chair. .

Public television depends on money and donations from the auction, which typically brings together hundreds of volunteers for a live broadcast in April.

“It’s a funny thing. This is where we have 30 volunteers who at all times manage our phone bank. We have four boards and nine items per board. An auctioneer will present the painting, then they have two minutes to sell the painting, then they start calling. These phones are ringing. There is excitement, ”Owens describes.

This year, the auction has been postponed to September and looks different with the addition of online auctions, the reduction in the number of volunteers and a spaced and socially distanced telephone bank. In lieu of a scheduled pickup day, winning items must be picked up by appointment only. Money from offers is crucial for crucial programming.

“The main reason I participate is because of the good programming for the kids. It’s unfortunate, but we have kids in our society who learn to count by watching Sesame Street, ”says Owens.

Educational shows are made possible through fundraising and are even more important now that many children are at home and learning from a distance.

“Public television is so important, especially in this 2020 upside down,” Owens says.

The auction begins Wednesday and continues through Saturday with a goal of $ 220,000.


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