By: Rebecca Miller
Following the Blizzard of ’78, which everyone who was alive at the time is sure to remember, the well followed radio station in Bryan, Ohio, WBNO/WQCT “wanted to commemorate that event by doing an on-air radio auction” that would be a fundraiser for local organizations.
The first proceeds went toward helping to rebuild the grandstand at the Williams County Fairgrounds, which had burned down.
Over the years the auction has raised hundreds of thousands for organizations that are helping the Williams County Community.
Last year the organization who received the money was “Mentors of Williams County.”
Andy Brigle, the voice of the B-Rock Morning Show, is the current program and sports director at the station and has picked up the ball for the auction.
He has a great sense of excitement about what is happening this year. Over the past few years, it has been harder and harder, Brigle said, to find organizations to whom to give the money raised, that had enough people to jump on board and gather all of the items for the auction.
Work places are not the only ones struggling to have enough employees, non-profit organizations are also struggling to have enough volunteers.
He “got to thinking about how it could be of greater benefit to the communities and how to get more people involved. I wanted to re-tool it and avoid getting stale.”
Soon after that, he started looking for “movers and shakers” to brainstorm with him. “Bryan Area Foundation…Amy Miller and her staff helped find the Williams County project for this year,” he said.
The highest number of listeners for the stations are in Williams and Defiance Counties so he felt like a reboot to the program, by adding Defiance County to the auction, would be a great help.
“We wanted to find a larger group that would be able to get more people involved, and a smaller group who would do whatever they could as well, and they would all benefit from the auction money raised.”
So, for 2023 and the coming years, the Blizzard Auction is expanding by rebooting, or rebranding the event to bring in more funds for helpful organizations and projects.
The two organizations which were chosen to receive half each of all the funds raised on January 28th, are Bryan Parks and Recreation for the building of an All-Inclusive Playground, and “Feeding Success” in Defiance County under the umbrella of the Defiance County United Way.
Ben Dominique, City of Bryan Director of Parks and Recreation said that they are honored to be part of the Blizzard Auction.
“Teaming up with the United Way of Defiance County to raise money for their Feeding Success program and raise money for the Lincoln Park Inclusive Playground project is a win-win for the families and children of Northwest Ohio!” Dominique said.
The goal of the Lincoln Park playground is to “create an environment for children and families of all physical, mental and social abilities to learn, play and grow together.”
Defiance County United Way Executive Director, Abby Wolfrum, shared her thoughts, stating, “The UWDC is thrilled to have the Blizzard Auction expand into Defiance County.”
“The funds received will easily allow us to double the budget for our Feeding Success program. The Feeding Success program is our school pantry program which stocks both food and personal hygiene items in all Defiance County middle and high schools, the IEC, and Four County Career Center.”
“The stories shared by our local school staff can be gut-wrenching to hear. It was a no brainer solution to meet the basic needs of these students by stocking items so that they can have breakfast and meals to take home, or hygiene items like shampoo and deodorant if they find themselves currently homeless or ‘couch surfing’
“The UWDC is met with amazing support from our community of donors to make sure that every child has their basic needs met so they can thrive in the classroom, this is truly Feeding Success.”
Another great upgrade for the benefit this year, is going to happen at the beginning of the day. For all these years, the day has started out with the Bryan Eagles making a donation of $1000.
Brigle wondered if others would like to join them and discovered that many other organizations love the idea.
As of this writing, a list of donors have committed to $8,200 already and will be announced at the beginning of the auction alongside the faithful Bryan Eagles.
THE WAY THE AUCTION WORKS…If you have never participated in the Blizzard Auction, Brigle says now is the time as it is a fun way to raise funds for worthy organizations and community projects.
All day long, on January 28th, there will be opportunities to bid on 12 different blocks of items, plus a “Super Block’.
By going to United WayDefianceCounty.org/blizzardauction or calling 419-633-6030 or 419-782-3510, participants can get a bidding number, before the big day.
Also, on the website there is a button to view the Items, and prospective bidders can see what each of the blocks holds, and determine which ones on which they want to bid.
The “Super Block” is bid on all day long and is the last one to be completed at the end of the day, but the other 12 blocks will be announced throughout the day when bidding begins on each one.
So… on Saturday, January 28, 2023, set your radio dials at either WBNO B-Rock, 100.9 Classic Rock or WQCT 96.5 Classic Hits, and call the station at 419-636-3175 to place your bids!
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com