The Zonta Club broke a number of records Saturday when the club hosted its largest fund-raising event of the year.
According to club member Yvonne Jenkins, the event broke last year's record by bringing in $9,600 in pocket change, more than $1,200 over the previous record set in 2010.
Jenkins said despite a still struggling economy, the event's success started months ago when Erath County businesses began donating prizes. From gift cards and cash to home decor and two big ticket items - a leather recliner and dinette set - Jenkins said the array of prizes encouraged bidders to fill their cups for a chance at winning their share of the loot.
Jenkins said Gary Basham, owner of Furniture Mart, is just one of many Erath County business owners that did his part. In addition to donating the recliner, he also makes the Zonta dollar stretch far beyond its worth by allowing the club to purchase quality items like the dinette set at cost.
She said a large number of the auction items called for a one to three-cent donation, and the two big ticket items - valued at about $300 and $600 each - were auctioned off for just $1.
But Jenkins said the money raised and donations contributed were not the only records set this year.
She said of the 1,600 cups available for purchase, only 80 went unsold, and empty seats were few and far between. Jenkins said 330 chairs lined the bidding tables, which compared to an estimated 275 seats in previous years.
Looking at the auction's history, which began in 1998, the money raised has continued to grow. The first annual event brought in a little more than $1,800 and the only down turn in funds raised was seen in the height of economic issues felt across the nation, in 2008 and 2009.
While Jenkins said she is confident the game and prizes drew Saturday's crowd, she is convinced attendees from across the county also turn out with thousands of dollars in pocket change because they know every cent stays in Erath County.