Groundhog Day does more than predict the weather

January 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

For one community foundation in Ohio, the annual celebration of Groundhog Day  means more than anticipating a groundhog’s appearance and prediction of 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring: it means dollars, about 40,000 of them, raised at a Groundhog Day Auction.

Dave MitzelThe auction began 17 years ago, when David Mitzel convinced a somewhat-reluctant board at the Muskingum County Community Foundation to hold the first one. Mitzel, who is the executive director of the Zanesville foundation, reports that “We have raised more than $600,000 on the back of this large rodent.” The proceeds of the live and silent auctions fund the foundation’s Spring Grant competition for local nonprofits.

The event relies on local artists and businesses for its donations, which include pottery and ceramic items in addition to paintings and other items. This year’s auction was last Friday night and was sold out, according to Mitzel. Some of the items bring in significant dollars: one year a pair of hand-crafted tables and plate made by master craftsman Ray Thomas raised $16,500 for the foundation.

Kudos to the foundation for its celebration in the midst of a gray Ohio winter. I’ll hope for a cloudy day Thursday and wait to hear what last week’s auction raised for the foundation. What will you be doing this Groundhog Day?

Entry filed under: Commentaries.

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