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YMCA online auction exceeds expectations

YMCA Northeastern Ontario’s virtual holiday auction ended up raising more money than the in-person event last year.

$10,800 was raised between the Sudbury and North Bay YMCA branches, compared to around $9,000 raised in 2019.

“We couldn’t be more pleased than we are with the result,” said Kendra MacIsaac, General Manager of Health, Fitness & Aquatics for the YMCA Northeastern Ontario.

Auction items were donated by both communities, with money raised going back into the respective city’s facility.

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“Those in North Bay who supported by donating and bidding, their money will stay at their Y,” MacIsaac confirmed, estimating the nearly-$11,000 will be split fairly evenly between the two cities.

Gift baskets, gift cards and art were among the items donated. MacIsaac says a helicopter ride ended up being the big-ticket item for the North Bay branch.

The money raised will go toward the My Y is Resilient campaign to keep the facilities running after financial losses brought on by the pandemic.

Normally, an in-person auction would be held at the YMCA’s front lobby. MacIsaac says having to shift the auction online brought on some difficulties.

“We weren’t sure how it would go this year because it was all online,” she said. “That definitely posed some challenges in properly displaying those items that were available online. People putting credit card information online for payment is still creates hesitance for some, but it really worked out.”

The online auction was open for two weeks before wrapping up on Wednesday. MacIsaac says the majority of the activity happened in the final few days of the auction.

The North Bay YMCA branch will be able to keep its doors open until at least March of 2021, having already reached its year-end fundraising goal of $250,000 through the My Y is Resilient campaign.

The campaign’s goal is to raise $1 million between the Sudbury and North Bay branches.

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