Quilt auction likely to set new high-water mark as largest fundraiser for EDCL

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It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Elmira District Community Living (EDCL), and this year might have been amongst a banner outing. The annual Elmira Quilt Auction was held again on October 27, raising in excess of $100,000 for the Elmira not-for-profit, which provides services and housing for community residents with intellectual disabilities.

“We expect that this will be probably our best year ever. And I think this is the fourth year in row now that we exceeded the $100,000 mark,” said Greg Bechard, executive director for the Elmira charity.

The final figure was still being tallied, said Bechard. “Probably in excess of $110,000, just to keep it on the low side.”

The auction, which was held over the course of Saturday at the Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative building at Reid Woods Drive and Arthur Street, north of Elmira, saw thousands raised through donated furniture, baked goods and, of course, the main attraction, the quilts. The auction was also preceded the previous day with a beef brisket dinner that served over 600 people, and the start of the silent auction, said Bechard.

The banner year for the auction was due to a number of factors, he noted, including a large number of donated items, as well as a significant turnout.

“We had the handmade furniture that comes, and this year we had the best donation of furniture that we’ve ever had. Probably double what we got last year. And, of course, the baking,” he said. “All in all, the crowd was as big as we’ve ever had, so a really good turnout.”

Not to be outdone, the baked goods drew more than their fair share of donations, with pies being sold off for hundreds of dollars at a time.

“They’re 12-inch pies, baked by various individuals. And there were some that were sold for in excess of $1,000. So a person would buy it for like $500 or $600, and then put it back in and have it auctioned off again. And would oftentimes auction for that much again. so the pies went anywhere from $500-600 to over $1,000,” said Bechard.

“So lots of fun, lots of good charity for a worthy cause.”

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