IONIA — With every single pastry and dessert ordered all through the Ionia No cost Fair’s 34th annual Cake and Pie auction Monday, so also went home an knowledge not to be neglected many thanks to auctioneer Perry Gregory.
Gregory, 72, has used many years donating his time to the good and under no circumstances misses the possibility to take part in the auction, assisting increase resources for the fair’s Home Financial Office.
“I believe this is my 30th year — I’m no spring chicken any longer,” he claimed with a laugh. “I’m not a professionally-experienced auctioneer. I’ve carried out a good deal of them for charity and nonprofits. This auction, it’s enjoyable, and the great detail about it is, every year, the contributors are competing with the very best.”
From begin to complete of the auction, Gregory saved bidders on their toes, operating diligently to sell things at major prices even though maintaining a smile on everyone’s face. Speaking with the cadence 1 would hope from a county auctioneer, Perry kicked off the function by chanting and pointing with out lacking a conquer.
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“Good evening folks, welcome to the display, we’re below tonight to raise some dough,” he claimed in rhythm. “So if you wanna bid and if you wanna buy, you gotta get your hand in the air and you gotta give it a check out.”
From there, the cakes and pies commenced to offer, with price ranges exceeding anticipations throughout the evening. All the while, Gregory ongoing to interject his humor.
“You can inform Martha Stewart to excitement off for the reason that we’ve got it all right in this article,” he reported immediately after advertising a cake.
“They aren’t going to get any more affordable, I really do not know what you’re waiting around for,” he named out just after a bidder hesitated to bounce back again in to snag a pie.
Gregory even took a several pleasant shots at some community officials, poking pleasurable at Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland right after she purchased her next cake of the evening.
“This is not an election 12 months, is it Julie?” he requested with a smile. “See people, she’s listed here even when it’s not an election calendar year.”
As Ionia Mayor Dan Balice walked into the auction and put a bid, Gregory known as him out for arriving late.
“It’s about time you confirmed up,” he quipped as the viewers laughed.
1 bidding war later on, Balice was the winner of a fresh pie.
“Oh I knew he’d acquire it — he informed me that was his favorite pie, peach,” Gregory shouted.
Element of Gregory’s attraction is thanks to the truth that he has a private partnership with several bidders in the viewers. From recognizing names to halting mid-bid to say hi there to those people who walked past, Gregory produced the auction sense as if it was a family affair.
The ambiance Gregory creates came as no shock to Elena Brooks, superintendent of the Dwelling Economics Office,
“That’s what can make it pleasurable with Perry, he understands anyone. We simply call this our good loved ones and it is exciting to see these households coming jointly through baking, looking at traditions handed down by means of the generations,” Brooks reported. “People occur listed here and contend from every other but they also make lifelong good friends. I think it’s just … we’re like a significant spouse and children right here. That would make it genuinely enjoyment.”
The Gregory name has been concerned in the Ionia Free Honest due to the fact its inception.
“Our family in some potential or an additional has been involved with the No cost Fair because its inception in 1915,” Gregory shared. “My grandfather was the initial superintendent of swine, my mother ran the residence financial section below, my mother and father also ran the 4-H food provider tent and I grew up exhibiting in this article at the good, demonstrating rabbits and my woodworking.
“I arrived from a spouse and children that was normally taught to give back and I’m striving to carry that legacy on now,” he additional. “The vast majority of the auctions I do are for charity. I just assume the reasonable, it is not just vital to me and my family members, it’s critical to the neighborhood. We’re all just one family members. Ionia is 1 homogenous relatives. It’s just about giving back again, which is what it’s all about.”
When he previously worked as a clerk at Helman Auction Services in Carson Town, observing auctioneers in the system, Gregory felt he could study and use all those talents and apply them to the honest.
“I was right upcoming to the auctioneer and heard his lingo above all the years — ‘just like a mom-in-law’s tongue by way of a son-in-law’s company, a minor wind, a tiny blink, a little nod may possibly do’ — it was all as a result of osmosis,” he recalled. “I know some of the men and women that are right here, a ton of the people today that are right here, remaining born and raised in Ionia County. It’s pleasant because I like to get the crowd heading. I like to see the competitiveness in between probably the mayor and a person of the previous Honest Board directors. I constantly have to tell them, nevertheless, I nevertheless possess it till it is lastly marketed.”
As the auction concluded, Gregory took delight in securing one of the best totals in the auction’s record — $10,250 elevated in one night.
“I gotta just about imagine it’s a history setter,” he reported.
According to Brooks, the overall is most likely within $100 of the formal truthful file.
“I had 71 exhibitors this year concerning the two times of opposition, which is 10 to 15 extra than I typically have, so participation is up,” Brooks mentioned. “I’m so excited with how it went tonight, I am sensation great. All of our rates will be compensated, all of our expenses are compensated with added on top rated that can be employed to pay back for a several a lot more enhancements.”
Brooks mentioned each and every cake and pie that was sold was a very first-location, blue-ribbon winner from judging that transpired before in the working day.
The reserve champion for cakes was an entry of peanut butter and jelly cupcakes by Rebecca Hopkins of Saranac with the grand winner currently being a Miami Seashore cake by Liz Sparks of Lowell.
The reserve winner for pies was a pecan pie by Janet Karasiewicz of Belding with the grand champion remaining a lemon meringue pie by Jenny Cogswell of Belding.
On the night time, the greatest bid on a pie was for a cherry pie by Amelia Doll of Saranac coming in at $650. The maximum bid on a cake was a tie at $500 each, likely to the cupcakes by Hopkins and a bundt cake by Doll.