The Caraway Volunteer Ambulance Service's annual auction had another successful year and secured necessary funding to allow the all-volunteer emergency care unit to continue service to the community. The auction was held on Saturday evening, March 23, in the Albert Payne Gymnasium in Caraway.
"All the money that raised at the auction goes toward the operation of the ambulance service operated here in Caraway," said Roger Adcock, ambulance service director. "We staff our service with volunteers and we do not charge fees for providing the service. We are totally donation supported, which makes this auction vital for us.
The City of Caraway provides a $3,000 donation each year, and the City of Black Oak contributes another $1,000. The rest of the more than $20,000 needed is raised through fundraisers and special events, like this auction and the Fourth of July picnic.
"Our ambulance service takes pride in providing emergency care for the many people who called on us last year, at no cost." Adcock said. "Many times our EMT volunteers just get calls for help with medical conditions, such as blood pressure monitoring, and advise on what to do, or how to tell if something is a potential emergency.
"We have people who call us just to come out and look them over," Adcock said. "They will tell us that they do not need the ambulance, but just need someone to come out here and take a look."
The Caraway Volunteer Ambulance Service was chosen as the Basic Life Support Service of the Year in 1997 by the Arkansas Ambulance Association. The service received a 50/50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Health, which they used to buy necessary equipment. They are always on the lookout for much needed funding and grants, in order to keep the service in good working order.
Items included in the auction were quilts, lamps, work boots, toys, fans, food, miniature bales of cotton, home furnishings, farm chemicals, baked goods, clothing, western boots, appliances, tools, and much more.
Bernard Berry and Barry Riley took in additional items at the door and issued auction numbers for bidding. All items to be auctioned were donated by individuals and area businesses.
Auctioneers Bill Harrell and Rev. Captain Lovell stayed busy throughout the evening, along with ringman Dwight Whittenburg. Ambulance service volunteers and Caraway policemen pitched in to help with the proceedings, and encouraged guests to bid on items. Roger and Sandy Adcock recorded final bid names on items purchased.
"We depend on this auction for three fourths of our income for the ambulance service," Adcock said. "We are committed to what we do and have come to believe that people in the surrounding area, think we are doing a good job. We want to keep our ambulance service going as long as possible. We deeply appreciate the continued support of the area people, who came out today, to take part in this auction."