Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley auction builds up tools for future builds

Photo by Chad Plauche-Adkins Roger Patterson and Nancy Mendicino look for the items they want to bid on at the 19th annual Callihan Auction on Friday to benefit Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

MARIETTA — On Friday evening, 260 caring residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley gathered at the Marietta Shrine Club to raise funds for the Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The organization’s 19th annual Callihan Auction had dinner, drinks and a silent and regular auction with more than120 items available to the highest bidder. Some of the items included construction needs like gravel and fixtures to home decor items, gift certificates and tickets to local events.

An auction item was five signed books and a half hour speaking engagement from Army veteran and former POW, Jessica Lynch, who attended the event.

Lynch, a substitute teacher in Wood and Wirt counties, said there is a simple explanation as to why she donated her time to the auction.

“It’s Habitat for Humanity,” she said. “They are such a giving organization…I want to do anything I can to give back to the community.”

Nancy Mendicino, 66, and Roger Patterson, 78, both of Marietta, said they weren’t sure what items they were going to bid on, but knew the money they would be giving was going to a worthy cause.

“I’ve been reserved,” said Patterson. “I still have to look at all the items before I decide.”

“I’ve been looking at the cutting boards,” said Mendicino.

Patterson said Habitat for Humanity provides a much needed service in the community.

“So many people don’t have adequate housing,” he said. “It’s good to know Habitat can provide that.”

The event even brought former Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth out of retirement to emcee. Besides the chance to kid and embarrass people into spending more money at the auction, he said the nonprofit’s method of charity is something that he believes in.

“People don’t get a free something, God helps those that help themselves,” he said.

Mendicino, whose husband volunteers at Habitat, said the organization teaches valuable lessons to the people who receive the new homes.

“They learn life skills by having to help build their own houses,” she said.

She said a person can see the pride mixed with appreciation in the people when they receive the keys to their home.

“They can get very emotional, it’s really very touching,” she said.

Lisa Collins, resource development coordinator for Habitat, said she has been pleased with how the auction has grown over the years.

“This is the first time we have sold out tickets before the auction,” she said.

Collins said the growth can partially be attributed to moving to a digital interface with the auction’s participants, and the discount on ticket price offered if bought at their website.

“Most of our tickets were sold online,” she said. “The $5 off ticket price incentive went really well.”


By the Numbers

* Amount raised at 2018 auction: $29,000

* Number of items up for auction: 122

* Number of Callihan Auctions: 19

* Number of homes built by Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley since 1990: 100