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Big plans shape up for Oaklawn’s 25th benefit auction Feb. 28 at FireKeepers

MARSHALL – Major plans are being developed for Oaklawn Hospital’s 25thannual Benefit Auction, to be held at FireKeepers Casino on Feb. 28.


“We’re hitting the quarter-century mark with a brand-new approach to this great event,” said Catherine Yates, who is chairing this year’s auction. “I’m really excited about what’s in store, and that we’re bringing all this fun to FireKeepers this year.”


The annual gala will be held nearly a month earlier than past events, and for the first year will be based at the casino at 11177 E. Michigan Ave., between Marshall and Battle Creek.


Yates, who is vice president and commercial loan officer for Chemical Bank in Marshall, said she is working with auction co-chair Lowell Weaver, general manager of the Medalist Golf Club, to make the benefit auction better than ever before.


“We hope we’re going to be able to surpass what we brought in last year,” Yates said, “and that was in excess of $120,000. To do that, though, we need a lot of support from our local community.”


“The acquisition team already is at work, finding a wide variety of new and creative items to auction off,” said Ryan Traver, who is heading up the event’s acquisition committee. Traver is owner and brand manager at BluFish Consulting in Marshall


The computerized bidding that has eased the process the past several years will continue at the new venue, Yates said. Using the system, participants will be able to bid from their smartphones and iPads;


Hundreds of other items for the auction – including dinners, appliances, specialty products, services, gift certificates, excursions and show tickets – typically are gathered and catalogued for each year’s auction, Traver said. Specific information about those items will be made available in the weeks leading up to the auction.


Anyone wishing to assist or ask a question about this year’s auction is asked to contact Theresa Shippell in Oaklawn’s Development Department at (269) 789-3942.