Chamber auction puts SCC scholarships in the hands of students

Dec. 7—There's still time to bid on items for the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Auction — as long as you are willing to bid online.

The annual auction is held to raise money for scholarships to Somerset Community College, and while the live and silent auctions were held Tuesday during the Chamber's monthly luncheon at the Center for Rural Development, the online auction closes at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Chamber of Commerce Holiday Auction can be found on the Ford Brothers Inc. website under the "Upcoming Auctions" banner.

There, bidders can find gift baskets, decorative items, electronic items, tools, ammunition and various other items.

During Tuesday's live auction, luncheon guests had an even wider variety of items to choose from. Besides the holiday decorations and gift cards were a few extremely popular items — namely, tickets to UK Basketball games, a dinner brought to your door by Chick-fil-A's Baby Cow (a cow which auctioneer Matt Ford questioned whether he should sell "by the pound" like he normally would), and an hour-long session with Santa Clause (John Alexander).

Chamber Auction Co-chair Beverly Withers said there were about 45 items in the live auction, with many more being snatched up by bidders in the silent auction.

Auction Chair Kathy Sears said that the auction goes better every year. Over the past 13 years the organization has been raising money for SCC scholarships.

Borne out of the former Festival of Trees, the auction is nearing the $200,000 mark in terms of money raised, which they hope will fund its 100th scholarship this year, she said.

It's a goal that Chamber Executive Director Bobby Clue seemed to think was achievable. In fact, Clue said he expected the auction to raise around $16,000 to $25,000 this year alone.

"It's always been one the most enjoyable events of the year," Clue said.

And all the money raised goes towards a good cause.

"That's important to us. Education is a huge pillar for us," he said.

Cindy Clouse, vice president of institutional advancement with SCC and member of the SCC Foundation, said that six scholarships are given out each semester, with one going to each of the four local high schools and two being awarded to graduates from any of the four schools.

The scholarships are awarded based on financial need as determined by the student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awardees are chosen by the SCC Scholarship Committee.

"Congratulation and a big thank you goes to the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Ford Brothers, and all the volunteers for a wonderful Holiday Auction," Clouse said. "... Last year the chamber raised over $25,000, and we are estimating that it will be close to the same amount again. Without community members and organizations like the Chamber who donated items, purchased items, and made cash donations, SCC could not offer these scholarships to our students. To date, this event has supported over 96 scholarships to deserving students."

Carla Slavey can be reached at