Swiss Heritage Village raises over $14,000 in fall auction
Through dedicated teamwork, the community of Berne got maximum usage from every cent in putting together a fundraiser directed at repairs and improvements in the Swiss Heritage Village and Museum over the next several months.
In the end, community efforts pulled together $14,000 in what Swiss Heritage Society executive director Doug Milligan referred to as the "first ever annual sale."
"We were absolutely delighted with this outcome," said Milligan. "We had a great turnout. There's no way to express how deeply appreciative we are of the community response to this."
Milligan said that careful planning through many meetings had revealed great need in certain repairs of buildings on the grounds. Among those areas that need immediate attention are the museum and gift shop, the school house, replacing damage at Luginbill House/Summer Kitchen, work at the doctor's office, replacing siding and repairing windows at the cheese house and repairing the Boy Scout meeting room.
Originally, said Milligan, estimated cost for the total package of repairs was estimated to be $92,862. But since then, prior to the auction, the society had received donations adding to $36,000, leaving the needed amount at $56,862.
Now, with the auction's success, the needed amount has been lowered to $42,862, Milligan said.
"A lot of credit has to be given to the excitement, humor and energy contributed by the Chris Yoder auctioneering team," said Milligan. "Each individual did an outstanding job in this."
Milligan noted that community teamwork was evident in the tool of "resale of the same item" to build the auction amount.
"Someone would sell something, pay for it, and then turn it back over to the auction and say, 'sell it again,'" said Milligan. "Sometimes that happened several times for one item, vastly increasing the auction of that one item. It was total teamwork on the part of everyone."
Milligan said that the area that would receive first attention would be the heating and air conditioning at the museum, with other repairs falling in line.
"It is imperative to stabilize the temperature in the museum at a certain climate in order to preserve the maximum integrity of the items that are in there," observed Milligan.
One group that especially impressed Milligan was the hard work of Boy Scout Troop 67 and their own fundraising efforts at their stand both during the Swiss Heritage Festival on the weekend and the auction on Tuesday morning.
"I appreciate the effort of the Boy Scout Troop 67 for providing a refreshment stand at the festival and the auction as a fundraiser for their own cause, the renovation of the Boy Scout meeting room," said Milligan. "The amount that they raised will be applied to their part of the project. I am impressed to see them take responsibility for their own project like that."
Patti Hogg, one of the leaders of Troop 67, said that the scouts cleared at least $600 in the weekend efforts.
"The guys worked hard," said Hogg. "They understand the responsibility they have in helping towards this renovation. We appreciate the support of the community in helping support this."
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