After months of setup, the Million Dollar Auction finally came together at Full Line Ag in Swift Current.
The end-of-summer free spending event saw a host of massive bids, big items, and bigger smiles fill the yard at Full Line Ag. It was the culmination of months of work, organization, and dedication.
Throughout the summer, sponsors pooled together prizes and items to bid on, as Alex Kozroski toured southwestern Saskatchewan. He attended bull rides, fairs, fishing tournaments and a whole slew of other events.
Folks who met up with Kozroski and identified him by his title of Southwest Explorer were awarded with Full Line Ag Fun Bucks, and invited to come to the auction on September 15.
Now that the Auction has finally happened, it's safe to say everyone who held onto their Full Line Ag Fun Bucks certainly got their money's worth.
The Million Dollar Auction saw people spending the 1,800,000, Full Line Ag Fun Bucks that were handed out all summer, culminating in a huge bidding war at the end of the night.
Some of the highlights in the auction were items like the hot tub from Canadian Tire, the 24-karat gold-plated decorative flower from Dana Dow Jewellers, and the Big Dog Zero Turn lawn mower from Full Line Ag.
Running the bids for the evening and prodding the attendees into spending their free money was John Baier, the auctioneer for the evening from Heartland Livestock in Swift Current.
"I think it went very well," said Baier. "We had a very, very active crowd tonight. People wanted to come out and have fun. They wanted to spend money, and bidding was very competitive but also really friendly. It was just great to see."
He helped prod the bidders alongside Magic 97.1 Morning Show Host, Colin Powers. Together, they presented the items, displayed on a Full Line Ag truck and trailer combo. Kozroski made sure to lift and show off each item, when feasible, and handed each winning bidder their items.
One of the most successful bidders of the evening was Triston James, who had managed to find the Southwest Explorer three times during the summer. He, ironically, managed to win three bids in the auction.
"I walked away with a giant blow-up KFC chicken bucket chair, a hot tub, and a smoker pizza set," said James. "I hope it's happening again next year. I want to see how many times I can find the Southwest Explorer again."
Another big spender who managed to grab an awesome bid win was Clint Davidsson, a firefighter from Eastend. He was a thoughtful father, using his Full Line Ag Fun Bucks to bid on and win a Nintendo Switch that came with a copy of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
"I got an eight-year-old son that will enjoy it with me," said Davisson. "It was free money so I really am having a good time. I get to go home with something so that's great."
One of the earliest winners was Darvin Giesbrecht, who was also in a fatherly mood as he bid on an item for his son. Just what that item was will be left aside, to not spoil the surprise.
"My son is looking for a pair," said Giesbrecht. "Christmas is coming so hopefully it'll be a good gift for him."
Perhaps one of the most valuable wins of the night, and most useful, was the tailored suit from Rittingers Mens Wear in Swift Current. With a regular value of $1,000, that well-fitting deal went to Curtis Argue.
Argue plans to order a black tie ensemble that he can use to attend an event with his wife.
"My wife has a president's dinner to go to," said Hattum. "So I have to get dressed up."
At the end of the night, the biggest item to be up for auction was the Big Dog Z-Track Riding Mower, donated by Full Line Ag. The competition for this item was so fierce, it saw people throwing their remaining Full Line Ag Fun Bucks into both Leroy Hattums camp, and into that of his opposing bidder, Jordie Ginter.
They went back and forth, starting the bidding at the $25,000 mark. From there, they punched the amounts ever higher, taking more and more contributions from friends in the crowd. Eventually, they came to rest just a hair over $200,000.
The final bid made by Hattum was $202,000, with only $1,000 more remaining in his hand if bidding continued.
Luckily for Hattum, Ginter was done, capped out at exactly $200,000 Full Line Ag Fun Bucks.
"Everybody kept throwing me money," said Hattum. "It's great. Normally, yeah, we'd have to save up for it. It's pretty awesome actually."
Hattum will be using the mower on his farm, where he will use it for what it was made to do: cut grass.
The final winners of the night never even made a single bid. The Salvation Army saw folks bringing in non-perishable donations as they signed in for the evening. All of those donations piled up until they dominated the registration table.
From everyone at Golden West Broadcasting in Swift Current, a huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated, especially to the title sponsor Full Line Ag. To everyone else who donated their time in handing out Full Line Ag Fun Bucks at their stores and venues, another huge thank you. Finally, Golden West thanks everyone who contributed prizes to be won in the auction. Without all of your support, this event could not have happened.
Thank you to the following for prize donations and for supporting this event.
-Full Line Ag
-Re/Max of Swift Current
-Bite Dental Studio
-Dana Dow Jewellers
-Mei Mei Chinese Restaurant
-Nijo Yard Supplies
-Inland Truck & Equipment
-Crutch's Plumbing and Heating
-Kentucky Fried Chicken
-Rafter R Brewing Company
-The Salvation Army
-Southwest Sports Excellence
-Community Futures Southwest
-Maple Creek Chamber of Commerce
-Co-operators/Robynn's Insurance Financial Group
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