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Rotary Wine Auctioneer Hands Over Baton

On Tuesday night the Rotary club of Ballarat West ran another successful Wine Auction, which was attended by over 80 people, ensuring feisty bidding.

The one dampener of an otherwise very enjoyable evening was the announcement made by auctioneer Barry Bedggood saying that his 20 year affiliation with the wine auction would cease.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been associated with the staging of the Ballarat West Wine Auction over the 20 year span,” he said.

“May I also add that my wife, Marie, who has helped over the years, and my partner in auction, Dr John Richmond, will also take a step back to allow new blood to take over.”

Barry added that the first wine auction was run in his year as President in 1999/2000, as an experiment to raise much needed funds.

“Previous to that we had wine tastings, but people eventually lost interest with the concept, so I came up with the idea of the Rotarians donating a couple of reasonable bottles of wine,” he said.

“Running a night that consisted of a dinner and then auctioning off the donated bottles back to the Rotary members for a slightly inflated price, and calling it a fund raiser.

“We realised that if we increased the numbers of people involved, we could increase our profits.    Each year it grew bigger and better.  We then fine-tuned it even further, and we began to realize that it’s a numbers game.”

“History now shows that if we choose an organisation that will come to our wine auction and fill a table or two, they have a drink or two, and as they relax and unwind they buy a few bottles.  It spreads the load from only the Rotarians buying the wine, and that all makes for a fun night,” Barry explained.

“Over the 20 years, our Rotary Wine Auction, has returned close to $150,000 to our club coffers enabling the club to put it all back into our local community.

“The only condition was, it must be spent on things that will help our local communities and organisations and that community gets one crack at it, thus spreading the money into different organisations.”

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