By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer
Whether you are shopping for that special someone or donating something special, the 40th annual We Care auction is the place to be this weekend.
Last year, the annual Christmas fundraiser netted $440,280.60.
Contributions will benefit six charity programs and nonprofits in Kokomo: the Kokomo Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army, Bona Vista Inc., Mental Health America of Howard County, the Kokomo Tribune-sponsored Goodfellows and the Hope Fund.
Since its inception in 1973 at WWKI-FM, We Care has raised just over $13 million.
The telethon is the biggest of We Care’s fundraisers. It accounted for more than one-third of the money raised by the nonprofit last year.
Along with the telethon, the Trim-A-Tree Christmas tree auction and other fundraisers like We Care Park at the corner of LaFountain and Gano streets, the Christmas tree house on Sycamore Street and an automated music and light display in Sharpsville also contribute to the charity. The We Care Store behind WWKI has also been selling clothing, snacks, Christmas decorations, desk accessories and other small items to help bring in money.
Donations are being accepted all week for the annual auction, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday and runs through 6 p.m. Sunday.
Donations of grills, chairs, doll houses, furniture toys and almost any other purchasable item has been coming into the drop-off tent so far, said Fern Fennell, who’s in charge of scheduling for We Care.
“It’s going pretty good,” Fennell said Tuesday. “We got quite a bit of stuff coming in, and the [We Care] store is busy. We’re getting bicycles, a set of drums, a Lincoln Town Car, antique tables, and we have a furnace/central air conditioning unit with heat pump donated by Candlelight Services.
“We don’t have enough for the full weekend yet,” she continued. “We need a lot more.”
Fennell said if people have donations and are not able to bring them to the radio station, volunteers will come and pick up donated items.