AOTV auction raises $30,000

  • Members of the Mahar Key Club with Jennifer Holden (standing) received telephone bids at last year’s AOTV AUCTION. This year, the auction tied its best fundraiser to date by raising $30,000. All proceeds support the AOTV’s Public, Educational and Government productions and WVAO Channel 1301. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/5/2018 11:08:09 AM

ORANGE — To Carol Courville, the fact that a small North Quabbin nonprofit can raise tens of thousands in one weekend is a sign that the community cares.

Athol-Orange Community Television — which brings radio and television programming of local meetings and events to the region — held its 23rd annual auction this past weekend, raising $30,000, according to Courville, AOTV’s executive director.

“It was wonderful and a great success,” Courville said. “This has a huge impact right now. It helps us staff accordingly and funds the radio station.”

The auction was a televised event, during which participants could call in to bid on 450 items donated by local businesses.

The items ranged from gift cards, to mulch, oil changes, a Playstation and a year’s subscription to the Recorder, Courville said..

“It was a wide variety,” Courville said. “And it’s tied for the biggest-ever (auction).”

Only one other time — five years ago for the AOTV 20th anniversary auction — did the event raise as much money as this past weekend.

The auction, Courville said, has become an important annual fundraiser for the nonprofit. The last few years, AOTV has raised just shy of $30,000 at its auctions.

That and the fact that the company passed the $30,000 threshold this year make the event a far cry from the inaugural auction in 1996, which raised $7,200.

“We had the $30,000 goal, and we came to $29,929 (this weekend),” Courville said. “An anonymous donor then pledged $80 to bring us to the goal. It was wonderful.”

For the last few years, the financial boost from the auction — always held the first full weekend of December — has allowed AOTV to upgrade its field equipment to have high-definition filming capabilities, upgrade its studio equipment and transportation.

This year, the network was able to upgrade its remote systems that broadcast live Selectboard meetings in Orange and Athol with high-definition cameras because of the auction.

Courville said over Saturday and Sunday, about 150 people volunteered for the auction to make it a success, together tallying “hundreds and hundreds of man hours.”

“There are people in the community, they watch and listen, and they want to help,” Courville said.

Businesses stepped up too, with 47 businesses sponsoring the event.

Three of those businesses donated over $1,000 to the event, winning “platinum sponsor” status and having their names mentioned several times on air: Witty’s Funeral Home in Orange, the Athol-Orange Rotary Club and the Orange Walmart.

Reach David McLellan at or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.

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