Auction raises $22,500 for sports |

Auction raises $22,500 for sports

Gregory Crofton
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune Dennis Heinz, general manager of AM 1490 KOWL radio station, reads off auction items at the start of the STAT auction fund-raiser Saturday morning.

An auction broadcast on radio Saturday raised more than $22,500 to support South Tahoe athletic programs, according to Mark Garratt, one of the auction’s organizers.

Support South Tahoe Athletic Teams’ goal is to garner $200,000 in time for spring sports.

STAT is raising the money because of lost state funding and the failure of a special tax measure in April that would have funded the athletic programs. STAT has raised about $82,500.

The auction was broadcast 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the Tahoe Keys Marina on the AM radio station KOWL. Listeners bid on items such as dinner for eight at Lake Valley Fire Protection District, professional football tickets, chairlifts from Heavenly and legal services. The more than 140 donated auction items were valued at more than $40,000.

“We had no idea how much we were going to raise,” Garratt said. “We’re very happy with the results.”

He thanked KOWL station general manager Dennis Heinz and Tahoe Daily Tribune publisher Paul Middlebrook for the event publicity, and he said the fight to keep the athletic program afloat is just beginning.

“It isn’t going to be acceptable for any sport to be cut in our eyes,” Garratt said.

Garratt said bidding got hot near the end of the broadcast day, so the auction was extended an hour.

Station general manager Dennis Heinz kicked off the broadcast – reminding listeners why the auction was so important.

“It’s to save the athletic department at the high school and the middle school,” Heinz said. “I’m a very big believer in sports, that’s why I got the radio involved in this.”

The highest value items in the auction included a plasma television valued at $5,000, an all-wheel drive Dodge Caravan worth $4,000, and a catered meal for 10 at Fallen Leaf Lake valued at $1,500.

Chairs from Heavenly Mountain Resort’s Waterfall lift valued at $200 were also auctioned. One woman called in early to bid for a chair because she had been proposed to on the ski lift.

“We’ll see if we can get that chair for you,” said Duane Wallace, chief executive officer of South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, who handled an auction phone early Saturday.

Despite the success, STAT still has a long way to go. The group must raise another $14,000-$20,000 before Oct. 15 to ensure solvency for winter sports.

For more information about fund-raising events, go to

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