The Upshur Arts Alliance has teamed up with First Community Bank in Buckhannon for the sixth year now, to host its annual auction of Christmas trees and wreaths. The event has turned into a fundraiser for the group, which in turn makes a big difference for arts in the Upshur County area.
"We have 25 to 30 dancers in our productions. We've done a full Nutcracker, so every year, things need to be redone, so it is a huge support to us with our costumes but also publicity," said Nina Scattaregia, who works with the Augusta Youth Ballet Company.
That company is just one of six groups the Alliance supports, and the auction helps it continue that support. It got its start after Secretary Sandra Presar saw a similar event elsewhere. She brought it back to Buckhannon, and it's taken over the group's art auction as its major event.
"We usually auction off about 30 to 35 items and we make a considerable bit of money from that. People start bidding wars and they have a week to bid, and so they keep coming back and signing and trying to out do each other," said Presar.
Those bidding wars are a big part of why the event is so successful, and such a benefit to the Alliance and the groups it supports.
"For our company, it is really crucial. It not only gives us some funding, but the Arts Alliance really gives us a lot of their time and efforts to making the arts known and supported within our county and contiguous areas here," Scattaregia said.
The group hands out its grants in March, and also offers smaller grants for individuals and small groups throughout the year.
The auction is set up in the lobby of the bank, and bidding closes at noon on December 4.