Public TV event to be online only

Southwest Ohio’s public television operator has announced that its 56th annual live fundraiser will be reformatted into an online-only event.

“The Action Auction has been going strong for 55 years and we plan to continue the tradition of the
event online,” said Kitty Lensman, CEO and president of CET and Dayton’s Think TV. “When the auction started, it raised the majority of the funding the station had to work with throughout the year. While the auction doesn’t raise the $1 million it raised back in the 80s when the event was an all-day, 10-day extravaganza, the event is still a hugely important part of our budget and our mission at CET and Think TV. We still need our volunteers, donors, sponsors and bidders to make this event successful and we are looking forward to growing the auction in new ways moving forward.”

Kitty Lensman

The bidding, payment and pickup systems that were in place for 2020, 2021 and 2022 will remain the same. There just will not be a live on-air showcase of items in September. The summer event, which started as an online-only event in 2020, will continue as well, kicking off May 3.

Long-time event chair Dr. O’dell Owens, who passed away in November, supported the decision to move the event online before it was made official.

“We understand this may be disappointing for many of our long-time viewers, bidders, buyers, sponsors
and donors who enjoy the live event, but this transition will allow us to continue to raise money for the
stations and utilize technology to become even more successful,” Lensman said.

“People asked for online bidding for years and, when we couldn’t have dozens of volunteers in the studio each night during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to integrate and test an online bidding system into the annual fundraising event,” said Lensman. “That system has been so successful and efficient that we’ve determined we no longer need the live broadcast part of the event for the fundraiser to be successful.”

Additionally, some of the efficiencies moving the auction online allows it to allocate staff and volunteer
time to other projects, like Ohio Learns 360, Redlining: Mapping Inequality in Dayton & Springfield, PBS Kids Summer Camps, $martPath and more.

CET and Dayton’s Think TV are part of Public Media Connect, southwest Ohio’s leading provider of education and enrichment in both living rooms and classrooms, serving more than 3 million people in the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton communities.


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