Roast heats up bids at local Crisis Center event

The Auglaize County Crisis Center’s 24th Annual Benefit Auction was deemed an overall success by its organizer, Heide Koenig.

“Every year we are blessed to have the community we have,” Koenig said. “They come out and support this event.”

Nearly 300 people showed up for the event at the Auglaize County Thursday, and they spent $30,000 to raise for the center, which provides relief for domestic violence victims.

Included in the event was the famous chili cookoff, which local fire departments and law enforcement put their skills to the test to see who makes the best chili. The New Bremen Police Department was crowned this year’s winner. The contest raised more than $5,000.

Items fetching high dollars included the hog roast, which has become an annual favorite, going at $1,100. A trip to the shooting range to shoot weapons and learn gun safety went for nearly $800, and lawn services compliments of St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan went for $250. Get-away packages gathered high amounts throughout the night.

Koenig said the auction is increasingly important as budgets suffer cutbacks across the state.

“The money is used for general operating expenses,” Koenig said. “It allows us to keep programs available. The money can be used for grant matches.

Last year, the Crisis Center handled 2,438 crisis calls, sheltered 64 area residents and served 1,430 non-residential adults and children.