Paddle auction to be hosted at Niles church Sept. 30

Published 12:22 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

NILES — A Niles church will host a fundraiser next week.

A paddle auction will be hosted starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Niles, located at 601 Sycamore St.

Numbered paddles may be purchased upon entry or ahead of time.  At the event, $5 will buy a paddle that can be used when bidding on individual items or guest may purchase a paddle for $50 that will automatically bid on all items, even if they cannot attend.  Items will be offered for bids of one to four quarters.

‘If you put your quarters in the bucket on your table to bid on an item, you hold up your paddle and, if your number is called, you win the item,” said organizer Molly Shaffer. “If you have never attended a paddle auction, you will discover they are a lot of fun.”

Items to be auctioned/raffled off include a selection of gift cards to Michiana area establishments, themed baskets of collectibles, hand-made afghans, table runners, various holiday decorations, novelty gifts and numerous other items.

In addition to the paddle auction, there will be a few items offered on a silent auction table, and raffle tickets will be available for a needlepoint of “The Old Rugged Cross” hymn, created by Karol VanOrman and framed by Sandi Bowman.

The winning ticket will be drawn at 7 p.m.

Sloppy joes, hot dogs, chips, water and pop will be available for purchase during the event.

The event is being hosted to raise funds for the maintenance of the newly restored Old Rugged Cross Church and Museum and to restore The Old Rugged Cross Annex, both in the village of Pokagon.  The church is where Rev. George Bennard first introduced the final version of his now famous hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.” The ORC Annex is the former Pokagon Township Hall and then Masonic Lodge on the corner of Barren Lake Road and Pokagon Highway. Once restored to a usable condition, the annex will be available to rent for receptions, family reunions, and community events.

Its rent will supply funding for the ongoing maintenance and utilities of the church, the restroom facility, the annex and grounds, Shaffer said.

There are no regular hours for tours of the church and museum, but they are given by appointment.

“We are happy to give tours to one person or a busload,” Shaffer said. “If you have company who you think might be interested, just give us a call at (269) 362-4347 to make an appointment.”