Ken McLeod of Ken’s Antiques & Auction saw his own share of the storm when the tornado damaged his Main Street business in downtown Adairsville, but that won’t stop him from hosting a benefit auction Saturday, March 2, at his new location in the old Parkway Ford building at 5563 Joe Frank Harris Parkway.
Live auctions will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with all proceeds going to help Adairsville residents and business owners rebuild, but for the auction to be the success McLeod is hoping for, organizers still need donations.
“It’s going to be like a big party for the community just trying to raise some money for the victims,” McLeod said. “We’re not looking for food or clothes, the churches are going to take care of that, we’re just asking for anything of value that can be resold. People may have a car laying around they don’t need, it could be a big tax deduction for them, or motorcycles, lawnmowers, or tools, or furniture, artwork — anything of value.”
Helping McLeod round up items for the auction is Tammy Livingood of Livingood Lab Services. She’s personally calling on individuals, businesses and civic organizations to donate anything they can to the effort. She also encourages businesses to donate smaller items or gift certificates that could be used for raffle items as an additional source of revenue for the fundraiser. Livingood Lab Services will be pitching in a paternity test, which will be up for grabs Saturday.
“We need more items,” Livingood said. “If people are tripping over anything in their garage or their attic, we’ll take it, as long as it’s something we can sell — furniture, tools, prints, cars, lawnmowers, anything anyone has that they don’t mind donating. It is tax deductible, but we do need to make sure it’s resellable.
“We already have some items, but we need a lot more. Businesses can also donate gift certificates and we’ll have raffles for those. If they’re large gift certificates, we’ll auction those off too.”
Livingood has worked with Ken’s Antiques & Auction in the past, helping with weekend auctions, so when she and her home were spared in the tornado that tore through Adairsville and Calhoun, she knew she had to do something.
“The tornado went right behind my backyard and afterward, I was directing traffic — it was just the least I could do,” Livingood said. “I kept trying to figure out how I could help because so many people lost so much and I was so very lucky that I didn’t and I just wanted to help. When Ken mentioned this, I go to a lot of his auctions and I even work the auctions with him as a hobby, and that’s what inspired me to help him.”
The inspiration for a benefit auction came from friends of McLeod who had success with similar situations. In trying to raise funds after a death in the family and another for a friend on hard times, McLeod has seen benefit auctions raise tens of thousands of dollars for their cause. He would like to see similar results in Adairsville this weekend, but will need more donated items in order to reach his goal.
“I’ve had some friends in the past who have had a death in the family and didn’t have insurance. Another one was just down on his luck and we just contacted people that knew them, collected donated items and had a party,” McLeod said. “A lot of people don’t have money to shell out because of the economy, but everyone has something laying around they’re not using that they could donate. All the money will go through NorthPointe Church. They have a charity account set up to benefit the disaster relief fund and all the people affected by the tornado in Adairsville.
“We’ll take things up through the day of the sale. We’ll, of course, do a live auction, but we would also like to have businesses donate gift cards and small products that we’ll sell raffle tickets for. The Lion’s Club will be there providing concessions and any money raised from food sales will also benefit Adairsville storm relief.”
Although organizers are looking for more items, they have already received donations of furniture, a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine, a new watch and jewelry.
Donations can be dropped off at the auction site, 5563 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Adairsville, or McLeod and Livingood will have arrangements made to pick up donated items if necessary. Cartersville drop-off sites also have been designated at Bruce Thompson Allstate and C&C Gutters. Call Livingood, 770-608-7663, or McLeod, 770-364-6281, before dropping off donations.
For more information, visit www.kensauction.com or www.auctionzip.com/listings/1696132.html.