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Blue Line bidders blow away record

An outpouring of donations and generous bidders came together to raise more than $28,000 for Wadena Hockey Jan. 15.1 / 3
Terry Davis peruses items up for bid during the auction.2 / 3
Allen Schmitz displays his hockey pride, sporting a Minnesota Wild hat.3 / 3

Organizers of the 12th Annual Blue Line Bids Fundraiser for the Wadena Hockey Association were hoping to score a goal this year, and instead did something more akin to running up the score: they raised about 50 percent more than the record take for the event.

Jamie Pettit, who acts as treasurer for the fundraiser, said some bills and some donations were still coming in from the event, but the total was impressive.

"It's safe to say the net proceeds will exceed $28,000," Pettit said.

That's a huge increase over the previous record amount of $18,385.28 in 2010, and more than double the average take of the previous 11 years, at $13,567, Pettit said.

The event started in 2000 with about $7,500 raised.

"It was an overall group effort," said Ric Harrison, an organizer who was quick to give the credit to Roberta Schultz and Mary Freeman, who did most of the organizing, Harrison said. "It really came together."

The event was held Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Wadena Elks Lodge, and featured between 125 and 150 people bidding on silent and live auction items, enjoying a good meal and talking about hockey.

The Wolverine and Blue Devil hockey athletes and coaches have made the best of a tough situation this year after the June 17 EF4 tornado ripped their arena to shreds. Since then, practices and games have been outdoors or in Long Prairie. There have been no "home" games this year.

Money from the Blue Line Bids Fundraiser goes to operations for the Wadena Hockey Association, which has had limited revenue without selling tickets and concessions to home games this year. The group hopes to be in a new home with new ice soon.