Vern Kreckel mug

St. Marys Rotary Club Secretary Vern Kreckel

ST. MARYS — The St. Marys Rotary Club is preparing to host its annual auction again this year, giving local bidders the chance to win more than 400 items.

Secretary Vern Kreckel said members are holding the auction in the safest way possible, meeting in person with no guests, and members will all be wearing masks. To register, participants can call 814-834-2241 or visit to receive a PIN number. During the auction, bids can be placed over the phone or by using the online platform.

The auction will be held Sunday, Feb. 28 at 12:30 p.m., and broadcasted on and

Two years ago, the SMRC also started accepting credit cards, said Kreckel. It’s easier for people to view the auction from home and bid online.

“Our donors have been very generous this year,” said Kreckel of the businesses and organizations contributing to the auction.

Those who bid can receive anything from gift cards to tools, handmade items, furniture and décor, says Kreckel.

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The auction has become a community tradition in local homes, taking place for well over 50 years.

Honorary SMRC member John Salter with The River 98.9 in St. Marys is a big part of making this happen, Kreckel adds. Former WJAC-TV weatherman Jim Burton will also be contributing.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the SMRC has been careful with its finances and spending, said Kreckel. The club hopes to welcome guests back to its meetings again soon.

“We are a team,” he said. “That’s important. Everyone gets their say and their input. Our club works well together.”

In the month of February, two rotarians are reaching a 40-year milestone, including David Herzing and SMRC President Russ Hanes.

The club is always looking for new rotarians, noted Kreckel, meaning people who are ready to dedicate their time and energy to local efforts.

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