Coming soon to a computer screen or smart device near you will be an auction in which you can participate from the comfort in your own home, or wherever you feel comfortable and safe. It will feature scores of items and services ranging from the essential to the innovative with automated reminders to bidders throughout a six-week online bidding process.
 
The 42 Rotary Clubs of District 7410, who support and help fund community projects in all or part of 10 counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, are sponsoring a virtual silent auction online starting on Monday, Feb. 1, and culminating at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 14, with scores of donated items up for bid throughout the process. The lists of items include jewelry, vacation or weekend getaways, ski passes, tickets to professional sporting events and even professional services an attorney, an insurance agency and others. Visit Trellis.org/RotaryAuction for a look at the variety of items up for bid.  Once the bidding starts on February 1, 2021, bidders and prospective bidders may return to the site for a real-time appraisal of the bidding for items of interest until the bidding ends at 5 p.m. on March 14.
 
Coming soon to a computer screen or smart device near you will be an auction in which you can participate from the comfort in your own home, or wherever you feel comfortable and safe. It will feature scores of items and services ranging from the essential to the innovative with automated reminders to bidders throughout a six-week online bidding process.
The 42 Rotary Clubs of District 7410 spanning all or part of 10 counties in Northeastern and Northcentral Pennsylvania (Northern Tier) will be hosting this virtual silent auction starting February 1 and ending on March 14 at 5 p.m. This interactive platform will be provided by Trellis.org, which hosts virtual fundraising events for charities and nonprofits like Rotary, bringing funding for projects back to their communities.
This is a response to the impact of the coronavirus, which has drastically reduced the impact of large group gatherings that have been a hallmark of major Rotary Club fundraisers for years.
 “The auction hopes to raise $110,000 for The Rotary foundation Annual Fund and $30,000 for the Polio Eradication Fund of Rotary International,” reported Past District Governor (PDG) Marcia Loughman in a recent sponsorship letter. “Any success over and above our goals will be used in our local clubs to match funds for local projects in our communities.”
The old proverb “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” certainly applies to fundraising during the ongoing pandemic, but there is actually a will among the items up for bidding — as in a legal will for a couple offered by Mattes Law in Scranton, notably Roger Mattes, Jr., of the Abingtons Rotary Club and Past District Governor, starting with a minimum bid of $100.
The list of items that will be up for bid was still growing at last report, and there is virtually something for everyone. How about a getaway at Bear Mountain Lodge or a weekend at a Lake Sheridan cottage? If you are looking for outdoor winter action, there’s an Elk Mountain ski pass for four, as well as a fall golf VIP golf outing for a foursome. If your idea of an outdoor outing is grilling for family and friends, there’s a Daniel Boone pellet outdoor grill valued at about $800. There is a variety of jewelry and classy watches, gift certificates to sundry retail stores and restaurants and even tickets to professional baseball and hockey games.
… And the List Goes on
The Rotary Foundation returns funds to Rotarians each year in the form of project grants written for local community projects or in matching funds for global projects.  That means Clubs can partner with other Rotarians around the world to implement projects from Rotary International areas of focus.
The Rotary Foundation has a tradition of reliability in supporting worthy causes as evidenced by a four-star rating by Charity Navigator for 13 years in a row.
Successful DDG grant applications so far in the 2020-21 Rotary year, which continues until July 1, 2021, reflect how COVID-19 initiatives have benefited communities in this large geographic district and how Rotary Clubs have managed to keep giving during difficult times.
  The following examples are a sampling of how Rotary Clubs are making things better— and safer— in their respective communities:
√ COVID-19 “Training Room Technology” for a Monroe County senior citizens and nursing home, the Pleasant Valley Manor, which combines technology with design expertise to create space to thwart the spread of the coronavirus among the most vulnerable of the population. This project, with an assist by the Stroudsburgs Rotary Club provides effective infection control during the ongoing pandemic and future disease outbreaks;
√ PPE and sanitizing equipment in several communities, including Hamlin, Factoryville, Hawley and the Abingtons for first responders, the elderly and care workers;
√ Building beds for children through the Luzerne County organization, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, where volunteers are committed to the goal that children shouldn’t have to sleep on the floor, compliments of the Dallas Rotary Club. The club will build the beds and deliver them to the children of needy families with a complete set of bedding, including the mattress;
√ The Hamlin-Lake Ariel Rotary in another COVID-19 project are contributing to construct window barriers at nurse and receptionist stations at the Community Health Center in Hamlin, which serves the entire community;
√ Wellsboro Rotarians help fund the Tioga County Homeless Initiative with a $4,000 grant;
√ The Hawley Rotary Club is providing financial assistance toward disease prevention and PPE in the local library so patrons can use computers and tablets there for job searches and other internet needs in a safe and healthy environment;
√ A local food pantry benefits from a generous contribution by the Honesdale Rotary Club to bring in a two-door commercial refrigerator and additional shelving, making an additional amount of fresh food available to the community;
√ Operation Warm provides children with winter coats with the West End Rotary Club pitching in with funding. Children get to choose size and color of quality coats, which are distributed through churches and local food pantries;
√ A number of projects with multiple clubs helping feed the hungry through grants and providing volunteers to food pantries and similar programs
Rotary Clubs in the district have also reported that they are working with various community services who had relied on their own fundraisers, such as volunteer fire departments, in fundraisers to help keep them afloat.
The $30,000 earmarked for the Polio Eradication Fund of Rotary International from the proceeds of the District 7410 virtual silent auction will go to a long-time Rotary cause— the total eradication of polio. Although polio no longer has a presence in the United States, there is always a threat of it spreading again as long as there are still cases in the world. Reducing cases by 99.9 percent since the first Rotary project in the Philippines in 1979 is a tremendous success story, with the immunization of 2.5 billion children in 122 countries, but the goal is total victory. There are only two countries left to finish the job: Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
In August 2020 Nigeria certified as wild-polio free which then certified all of Africa. The monitoring of cases worldwide and ongoing immunizations where detected continues more than four decades later.
For more information on how you can participate and support this philanthropic event you are invited to visit Trellis.org/RotaryAuction for a look at the variety of items up for bid as dedicated Rotary volunteers continue to solicit more donated items from members and local businesses.  Once the bidding starts on February 1, 2021, bidders and potential bidders may return to the site for a real-time appraisal of the bidding for items of interest until the bidding ends at 5 p.m. on March14.
Captions with attached photos:
Sharing a joyful hug for helping out a local food pantry in the Stroudsburgs with a donation are Hope Christman (left), PVEN Food Pantry, and then Stroudsburgs Club Past President Lucille Piggott-Prawl.
 
 
Hazleton Rotarian John Madden and wife, Nancy, are shown with a boy on an annual shopping spree for children from struggling families Christmas shopping. This project has become a holiday tradition of the Hazleton Rotary Club.
 
Wyalusing Rotarian Mary Skillings is one of a dependable group of local volunteers who unload produce and other food brought to the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Wyalusing and then stuff backpacks with goodies for needy children. The Wyalusing Area Rotary provides financial support for the pantry, including proceeds from an annual venison dinner.