MOUNT VERNON — Area businesses duked it out Thursday evening at the annual Mount Vernon Christmas Parade auction hosted by Main Street Mount Vernon at Amato’s Woodfired Pizza.
Bids totaling $8,450 were placed for sponsorship of the various parade entry trophies — the award for “Best Overall” alone raised $1,600.
The money raised will support both the Christmas Walk and Parade, and help Main Street Mount Vernon keep the event “free for families” with holiday fun that includes carousel and train rides, face painting, a visit with Santa and, of course, the Christmas parade, MSMV Executive Director Carrie Hyman said.
“The Christmas Walk and Parade is a family-friendly event that helps bring people downtown,” Hyman explained. “By doing fundraisers like this we can keep it free for families. The businesses like [the auction] because we always think about ‘what do other people get for it,’ we like to have a give-and-take relationship. The businesses get the advertising, so they’re willing to spend the money to sponsor the prizes. It’s a win-win for everybody. [MSMV] gets the sponsorship money, [businesses] get the sponsorship, winners get trophies.”
MSMV board president Heather Brayshaw noted that the fundraiser, one of the bigger fundraising events that the non-profit does for the year, can also help MSMV fund other events that are free to the public, such as First Fridays and Ladies Night Out.
New this year, replacing the silent auction that typically accompanies the parade auction, was a “gift card tree” fundraiser. Attendees were able to purchase gift cards donated by area businesses and MSMV board members that ranged in value from $5 to $100 for a $20 donation. The gift card tree fundraiser raised an additional $500 for MSMV.
“The fundraiser helps us continue to bring the quality of entertainment and make [the Christmas walk and parade] a fun event for everybody,” Brayshaw said.
Following is a complete list of entry sponsors and their winning bids:
Best Animal Entry — Dave’s Cosmic Subs, $300
Best Antique Entry — The Ruckman Group, $300
Best Auto (After 1961) — Jack Moser Law, $300
Best Auto (Before 1961) — The Joint, $300
Best Business Entry — M & M Trucking, $300
Best Club & Service Organization Entry (Adult) — Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, $350
Best Club & Service Organization Entry (Youth) — WNZR and Mount Vernon Nazarene University, $400
Best Emergency Vehicle Entry — Knox Community Hospital, $550
Best Equestrian Entry — Page One Group, $300
Best Horse Drawn Entry — DNA Investigations, $350
Best Humorous Entry — Kirkhope Marketing, $375
Best Miniature Horse Entry — CES Credit Union, $300
Best Motorcycle Entry — Page One Group, $325
Best Pony Entry — The Ruckman Group, $300
Best Religious Entry — HER Realtors, $250
Best School Entry — McDaniel CPA, $400
Best Walking Entry — Herald’s Appliances, $325
Best Youth Entry — Tru Cut Landscaping & Lawn Care, $350
Best Senior Entry — Kirkhope Marketing, $325
Best Parade Theme Entry (March of the Toys) — Stein Brewing Co., $450
Best Overall — Moss Rose, $1,600
The Christmas Walk and Parade will be held in the Mount Vernon Downtown Sunday Nov. 25. The walk will take place from 1-5 p.m. The parade, organized by the Mount Vernon News, will hit South Main Street at 2:30 p.m. This year’s parade theme is March of the Toys.