Charitable Bidding War Nets Big Dollars for Lions Club

The Winnemucca Host Lions Club was at the center of a bidding war recently-a friendly back and forth effort between Humboldt General Hospital and Hycroft Resources and Development, Inc. that netted the Lions Club $1,800.

The charitable feud took place at the first annual "Festival of Trees," held November 23-25, at the Winnemucca Events Complex Exhibit Hall.

For three days, the hall was filled with beautiful Christmas trees, all decorated and donated by various businesses, organizations and families, including one exceptionally unique tree that came together through the efforts of three organizations: Hycroft, Cashman Equipment and Komatsu Equipment Company.

That tree included small mining ornaments courtesy of Cashman Equipment Mining Sales Representative Terry Haygood. Haygood's wife, Cindy, and granddaughter, Nya Tyler, were also in on the decorating.

Additionally, Komatsu Equipment Company Account Manager Steve Snyder donated keychain ornaments for the tree.

Then, Hycroft finished decorating the tree using nature as the main theme, and the tree was definitely a hit, especially with Humboldt General Hospital and Hycroft.

The trees were sold during a silent auction held throughout the event. Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish said he had his eye on the tree during the entire event.

"It was a really neat tree," he said. "I wanted to buy it as a donation from the hospital, but [Hycroft representative] Sue Hawkins wanted it too."

Hawkins said that she and Parrish started a kind of bidding war for the tree. "Finally, Jim suggested that since Hycroft'sintention was to buy the tree and give the proceeds back to the club, I should go first and he would follow," she said.

And that's exactly what happened. Hycroft put in the first winning bid for the tree in the amount of $700; she Hycroft made good on their word, donating the tree back to the club. Parrish on behalf of HGH followed with another $600 purchase, and also donated the tree back.

A private buyer followed the two corporations-actually Parrish's wife, Karrie, who loved the tree as well and purchased it for her family-giving the club another $300.

But that's not all. As a bonus, Hycroft had included $200 in Chamber checks from the Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce for the winner of the tree. Karrie Parrish opted to keep the tree, but she donated the Chamber checks back to the club.

"So in all, we made an $1,800 donation to the Lions Club," said Hawkins.

"Plus it was really fun," said Parrish. "We had a good time, and it was for a good cause."

In addition to the beautifully decorated trees, the first annual event also included photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and a gingerbread house competition for children. Visitors were also encouraged to make a small donation at the door-all of which was turned over to the Winnemucca Food Bank.

Parrish and Hawkins agreed their small bidding war netted some big gains-and some big laughs-for the two organizations. "I think we should do this every year," said Parrish. Hawkins was quick to agree, "You bet; we'll start planning."

Photo: Hycroft's entry at this year's first annual Festival of Trees involved a lot of helpers. Pictured from left to right are Cashman Equipment Mining Sales Representative Terry Haygood, his wife Cindy, HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish, Hycroft public relations representative Sue Hawkins and Hycroft Human Resources Manager Bill Lawton. Pictured at front is Nya Tyler, the Haygood's granddaughter and a third grader at Sonoma Height Elementary School, who helped decorate the Hycroft tree. Not pictured is Komatsu Equipment Company Account Manager Steve Snyder, who donated keychain ornaments to put the finishing touches on the project.