Kevin Candrian, left, auctions a basket of goodies during the Hilltop Heritage Foundation auction.
Chip Kelly didn’t know what to expect when he went to the Hilltop Heritage Foundation’s 28th annual Steak Fry and Auction on Saturday night.
All he knew is that he was missing a college football game on television.
But when he arrived at the High Plains Cultural Center with his grandparents, the teen-ager visiting from Bismarck was surprised by the festive atmosphere, the good food and the many items to bid on.
“I thought it was going to be a little small-town thing,” he said.
More than 320 people attended the event and enjoyed a nice dinner and had the opportunity to bid on 160 donated items in the silent and live auctions.
The steak fry and auction is an annual fundraiser for the foundation. This year, the proceeds will be for Legacy Lodge, a new 20-apartment assisted-living facility that opened earlier this month adjacent to the Hill Top Home of Comfort.
Residents have already moved in to a couple of the apartments.
The theme of this year’s auction was “The Legacy Continues …”, and the turnout was an indication that it is not only continuing, but growing stronger. The number of people who attended the event, as well as the number of donated items for the auction were near or above all-time highs, said Fayleen Fisher, the foundation executive director.
“I’m very excited,” said Fisher said. “We didn’t think we could get to where we were last year.”
The total proceeds have not yet been tallied, Fisher said. The live auction took in $6,000, Fisher said, and the dinner tallied $8,000 before expenses.
The items in the auction included many hand-made decorative pieces of furniture, original art work by local artists, packages of food, drinks, tools, toys and numerous items put together by community members and businesses.
Foundation officials have said that they are so grateful for their support, and without their donations of time, energy and beautiful pieces, the auction would not be as successful.
“This is nice,” Kelly said, as he walked around the lobby, eyeing potential Christmas presents for his friends and family. “I’m glad I came.”
Even at the expense of missing the football game?
“I taped it,” he said. “Something like this (steak fry and auction), you have to enjoy it live.”