KENW shoots for big haul in auction

By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Call it shopping at home, but for a worthy, entertaining and educational cause.

The 29th annual KENW-TV Tele-Auction will take over the area airwaves June 6 through June 11 as 2,000 items are auctioned, ranging from $5 “Steal of the Night” items up to a vacation for two to London.

Through its biggest fund-raiser of the year, KENW hopes to raise at least $80,000 to help pay for the PBS station’s programming which includes the long-running children’s classic, Sesame Street, as well as NewsHour With Jim Lehrer and Nova. KENW-TV spends $365,000 on programming each year.

“It’s always entertaining when you’re selling a lot of different items. People consider it a contest and get a spirit of competition,” said Don Criss, the TV production services director at KENW-TV. “(Eastern New Mexico University President Steven) Gamble will be doing some auctioneering as well as Donald Thomas, a well-liked local personality.”

Sheryl Borden, the marketing director for KENW-TV, said programming costs have escalated considerably over the years while the minimum contribution for the tele-auction has remained at $50.

Because the KENW Tele-Auction will also air on DirecTV for the first time this year, and thus reach more people in towns such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Borden said the station hopes to perhaps raise even more money.

“Clovis, Portales and Roswell are our biggest areas during the tele-auction but since we are also online, we get bidders from places like Philadelphia, San Antonio and Milwaukee,” Borden said.

This year, KENW has also shortened the bidding time to two minutes, making it even more competitive. Items expected to be popular are a whole line of celebrity items, such as autographed photos of Charlton Heston, John Travolta, Shania Twain and more, vacation packages, including a new spot this year, a five-day, four-night package to Hotel Monacco in New Orleans, and a special “Kids and Company” segment which will include video games, wagons and a G-scale train set.