Auctions to help veterans

BELPRE – Auctions will be held monthly at Peddler’s Junction at the Belpre Plaza Shopping Center in Belpre to help local veteran charities.

The Veterans Benefit Auctions will be held the first Tuesday of each month, starting Tuesday. The first one will benefit the Disabled American Veterans group locally.

“On the first Tuesday of each month, we are going to have a benefit auction where all of the profits will go to a local veterans charity,” said Tony Tanner, finance controller for Peddler’s Junction, which is located in the plaza on Washington Boulevard.

Tanner, whose mother owns Peddler’s Junction, said they are a military family with relatives who have served in each branch. He himself served in the U.S. Navy.

“We have all served,” Tanner said. “We are military-minded here.

“We wanted to do something to benefit the veterans in the area and this was the best thing we could think of doing.”

The monthly auctions will help the community be able to do something, get people involved and get people involved with local veterans, he said.

Since an auction is planned monthly, organizers felt they couldn’t ask people to donate items every month so a consignment deal is worked out where the seller can still make the money they need off of a sale, but the profit for the sale will be donated to the veterans groups.

“They can bring their items in here and consign them just like any auction house,” Tanner said. “The difference is we will pay those consigners for their merchandise, but any of the profits left over will go to the charities we’re working with.”

People can donate items solely to benefit the veterans charity for each auction, but they are not required to, Tanner said, adding they have already had one person – a veteran – who has donated some items solely to benefit the veterans charity.

Tanner said they are already gathering a unique grouping of merchandise for the auction on Tuesday.

“It will be a variety of items from military memorabilia to furniture,” he said. “We have some construction supplies, household items, toys and other things.

“It will be a variety of things and that is the way it will be for the majority of our auctions. The only difference is our store doesn’t make any money off of this, the money goes to the charity.”

The auctioneer will be Bill Scott, a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1966 to 1969. He has been an auctioneer for over 15 years.

Organizers are expecting well over 100 people at Tuesday’s auction and they expect it to grow in the coming months.

“I have a pretty good following from other auctions,” Scott said. “I would estimate we will get over 125 people.

“We might have standing room only.”

Scott is confident the auctions will grow into something that will become well known throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“There is a need for veteran help, especially for older veterans,” Scott said.

He had the chance to talk recently with a 88-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II and had a lot of stories to tell.

“He was one of the most interesting people to talk to,” Scott said. “He was so full of life.

“All he needs is someone to listen to him.”

Scott said he got involved in the auctions when he found out it was for veterans and whatever people can do will help.

“I think anything anyone contributes will be beneficial,” he said.

They are taking consignments through the Sunday prior to auction day. The auctions in the back of Peddler’s Junction. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for viewing. The auction starts at 6 p.m.