MINOT AIR FORCE BASE When Minot Air Force Base airmen and their families are in need, there's an organization on base that can help them Operation Warmheart.
Each year when the annual Prairie Warrior Association Auction, sponsored by the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee, is held in Minot, some of those funds go to Operation Warmheart, a program overseen by the first sergeants at the Minot base.
Prairie Warrior Auction funds have amounted to more than half a million dollars raised through the years for Minot AFB. Besides Operation Warmheart, the funds support many other base organizations and functions not supported by unit funds, including competition teams, squadron activities and annual awards banquets. Funds also go to the Thanksgiving baskets project during the holiday season.
John Bearman, a Minot auctioneer, calls for bids for a 9-11 commemorative quilt during an annual Prairie Warrior Association Auction held at the Holiday Inn-Riverside in Minot, shown in this photo by Senior Airman Jose Hernandez-Domitalo. This year’s auction is set for March 22. The annual community-based event is held to raise money in support of military service members stationed at Minot Air Force Base.
Auction is March 22
This year's auction, set for Saturday, March 22, is the 28th annual event and will be held in the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot. This will be John Bearman's eighth consecutive year as the auctioneer.
The preview of the auction items will start at 5:30 p.m., with refreshments and hors d'oeuvres served. The auction begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $25 per person.
Betty Fedorchak, auction chairwoman, said she encourages Minot and area businesses, individuals and organizations to contribute and show their support of the men and women at the Minot base.
Last year the auction raised about $33,000 for Minot Air Force Base, she said.
Contributions are being accepted now for this year's auction and should be made as soon as possible. March 7 is the deadline for submitting items.
Donations to the annual auction in past years have included restaurant certificates and other certificates, baskets filled with a variety of items, season passes for golf, hotel stays, diamond jewelry, special clocks, outdoor cooking items, Norsk Hostfest and State Fair tickets, Roosevelt Park Zoo passes, Minot Family YMCA memberships, special dinners, specially baked and decorated cakes, sports apparel, furniture and military memorabilia and artwork along with other types of artwork and photography.
Items donated can be serious, humorous, unusual, imaginative or creative, Fedorchak said. She said any special instructions or information about the items, such as historical significance, should be included, if applicable. The information may increase the items' value during bidding.
If an item is an intangible gift such as a service or
membership, a certificate or letter from the donor or business must be included.
People who have items that are in excellent condition but they are not sure whether the items are appropriate for the auction or for other information about the auction call Fedorchak at 838-6680. To make arrangements for pickup of items in Minot also call Fedorchak.
Lt. Col. Darrin Morgan is the on-base liaison for the auction.
"Our main goal is supporting our military and thanking them for their service," Fedorchak said.