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WOOL Radio plans online local gift card auction

Ebay will accept credit and debit cards as well as Paypal. Proceeds benefit Great Falls Community Broadcasting Company, the nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that holds the license for WOOL 91.5 FM. Full details can be found at wool.fm/auction.

BELLOWS FALLS—Area community radio station WOOL 91.5 FM will hold an online auction of gift cards and gift certificates from local business. The fundraiser will run from Nov. 21 through Nov. 29 on the auction site eBay.

Bidders can win gift cards at businesses they already support for a fraction of their value. Doing so helps community radio, area commerce, and the bidders themselves.

The annual Black Sheep Radio Silent Auction normally is the principal fundraiser for WOOL Radio, but such gatherings have become problematic during the pandemic.

The radio station will use the internet this year to bring the event to its listeners, who can find the online auction through the station’s website at wool.fm/auction.

“Every year, our auction brings a major contribution to our operating costs,” WOOL president and area architect Bill Holtz said in a news release. “We’re happy to have found a safe and effective way to rally the troops. Our area businesses are great partners in this project. We should all be proud to support them with these purchases.”

Bidding starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, and runs until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. This gives participants nine days to bid on the items, as opposed to the three-hour window of the station’s customary auction.

The nonprofit community station, known also as Black Sheep Radio, broadcasts on 91.5 FM and at wool.fm. It went on the air in 2005 and has remained a backbone for community organizations and local underwriters.

Run by volunteers and staffed by dozens of freelance radio producers, Black Sheep Radio relies heavily on membership and fundraisers to cover its annual operating costs.

“We should all be thankful that we’re able to have an independent and locally controlled media outlet operating in our area,” says longtime WOOL supporter Gary Smith. “In a media world that’s hard to trust, it’s good to know we have one [outlet] programmed and curated by our neighbors and that we own in common.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #588 (Wednesday, November 18, 2020). This story appeared on page B2.

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