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Auction to draw big crowds, big ticket items

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RENSSELAER FALLS — Hundreds of high-end items, including Amish chests, gun racks and rocking chairs, will be on the auction block May 3 at the Rensselaer Falls Fire Department.

Auction Coordinator Shelly A. Planty said she has been collecting items since last fall. She said Wednesday that donations are “overflowing” in the firehouse.

“It’s a well-attended auction,” Mrs. Planty said. “We have a large crowd that comes every year, and they know what to expect. No matter what you are looking for, we probably have it. We have some nice Amish pieces and we have duck decoys from Dick Hollis. We have gift certificates from jewelry stores, plants, and canned goods.”

Department Secretary Karin S. Blackburn said donations will be accepted until the day of the auction.

“Our guys begin to solicit items from businesses in March,” Mrs. Blackburn said. “Our local businesses are very supportive. We are always looking for more donations.”

Auctioneer Bob Kosman will be on hand to start the bidding wars precisely at 9:01 a.m.

The auction, the fire department’s biggest fundraiser, typically raises between $6,000 to $10,000.

This year, proceeds from the auction help fund equipment and training for new members. The fundraiser will also help pay for an 18-by-80-foot expansion onto the front of the fire department.

“The extension on the building will give us more room for our larger trucks,” Chief Jeffrey S. Hammond said. “It will also make our truck bays a little bit safer for our firefighters.”

The expansion will cost roughly $150,000. Mr. Hammond said construction on the addition will take place in May through August.

To donate, contact Mrs. Planty at 344-7096 or Mrs. Blackburn at 854-4971. Appliances or clothing will not be accepted.

The fire department will also hold an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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