LILLINGTON - Buyers started gathering at Central Carolina Community College's Harnett County Campus at 9 a.m. June 1, eager to preview the items going up for bid at the CCCC Foundation's 13th Annual Furniture Auction.
A handsome cherry wood hall table, attractive armoire, dining room suite, outdoor furniture, early American blanket chest and dozens of other items handcrafted by students enrolled in CCCC's carpentry and welding classes at Harnett Correctional Institute were on the auction block.
The auction proceeds go to an endowed scholarship fund which helps provide financial aid for CCCC students from Harnett County. The endowment is managed by the Central Carolina Community College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives, holds and disperses funds for the benefit of CCCC.
"It's wonderful," buyer James Linwood, of Dunn, said of the Auction. "It's different from any auction I've ever been to. Its neat, organized, the furniture is better constructed than anything you can get commercially, and it's for a good cause."
A giant movie screen in the campus's Miriello Building displayed the items up for bid, including a set of Adirondack chairs and chaise lounge, wooden glider, picnic tables for adults and children, handcrafted metal works, a potting shed, gazebo and storage buildings, arch leg coffee tables, bird baths, and two handmade wooden replicas of historic pickup trucks, to name a few.
"These are really works of art," said Coats resident David Maynor, owner of Napa Auto Parts, in Lillington, as he purchased a wooden model of a 1928 Chevy pickup.
Maynor and his wife, Sharon, are the grandparents of four and expecting two more grandchildren, so they also bought one of the small picnic tables.
"I know we'll get a lot of use out it," Sharon said, smiling.
Many of the bidders were veterans of several auctions. They said they weren't there just for the quality pieces, but for the students as well. A man who purchased a wooden bench even bid against himself.
"Does this money go the school?" he asked the auctioneer. When assured it did, he said, "I'll up my bid from $100 to $150."
CCCC's Robert Daniels, who teaches small engine repair at Harnett Correctional Institute, said the students' work is outstanding.
"The craftsmanship is better than anything you can buy on the street," Daniels said. "The students put their heart and soul into these items. So many of them have been told they can't do anything or that they aren't worth anything, but their work tells a different story."
His students inspire him every day, said Daniels, a veteran of 24 years with the program at HCI. "I have yet to wake up one morning when I dread going to my job. The students are so grateful to learn these skills. It helps them when they go back into society, and I get the chance to make a difference in somebody's life."
The CCCC 13th Annual Furniture Auction raised a total of $24,600 for the Harnett County students' endowed scholarship fund.
"This year marked another successful year for the Foundation's Furniture Auction," said Emily Hare, director for the CCCC Foundation and Development Office. "Through the excitement of the auction and the generosity of Harnett County, at least 10 students will be receiving scholarships from the monies generated. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students."
For information on giving to the Foundation or its fund-raising events, contact Hare at 919-718-7230 or by email at email@example.com.
David Maynor (back), of Dunn, and his wife, Sharon (front) get a helping hand from Anthony Amos (center), of Asheville, in loading their new picnic table onto their car. The Maynors were high bidders on the table at the Central Carolina Community College Foundation's Furniture Auction June 1 at the college's Harnett County Campus. The event raised $24,600 for the Foundation's endowed scholarship fund for students from Harnett County. For information on giving to the Foundation or its fund-raising events, contact Emily Hare, director for the CCCC Foundation and Development Office, at 919-718-7230 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.