There are pumpkin auctions around the country this time of the year, but, on a per-pumpkin-basis, probably none can compare to the Annual Stampede Auction of Champion Pumpkins at Black Hawk College East Campus.
On Oct. 17, auctioneer and East Campus alumnus Bill LeSage persuaded the audience of generous students, faculty, staff and friends to spend a grand total $6,800 on 12 pumpkins, all to benefit the Kewanee Area United Way.
Pumpkins were evaluated and “talked” by members of the Sophomore Livestock Judging Team. Other team members were bid spotters.
The pumpkin auction was livestreamed worldwide from the East Campus Facebook page thanks to the ag ambassadors and BHC recruiter Samantha Rux. For the first time in sale history, bidders were given the “bidder’s choice” option for Lot 8 and Lot 9.
The 12 sale lots included not only fresh gourds, but also floral, wooden, glass and metal offerings. This year’s pumpkins were donated by Nature’s Creations Greenhouse and Farm, Gary and Jodee Werkheiser, David Harris, Rhonda Ballard, Stark County Design and Amy Snyder.
This year’s top bid was $2,000 from the BHC Livestock Judging Team, Ray Jacobs and Adams County Ag Producers.
Other winning bids were:
- Black Hawk College Community Education Center staff
- Black Hawk College President’s Cabinet
- Black Hawk College East Foundation Board and staff
- Western Illinois University BHE Livestock Judging Alumni
- “BCJ Pumpkin Co.” and transfer faculty members
- Lee and Josh Denzer
- The Hoges – Carter, Nolan and Nora Hoge
- Dan and Deanna Hoge
- Oklahoma State University Livestock Judging Team
- Lowderman Cattle Company