Auction goal surpassed

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ROCHELLE – Bearrows Real Estate and Auction Company recently held a very successful online auction for the items inside the former Hickory Grove Banquet Hall, bringing the city one step closer to demolishing the building for a new developer. 

The auction was held online between July 30 and Aug. 20 through the online auction website hibid.com. There were many different items for sale ranging from Rochelle memorabilia, banquet hall furniture, kitchen items and much more.

The main goal of the auction was to help clear out old items from the building and help raise funds for the future demolition project as well as keep many historical items in the hands of local community members. Bearrows Real Estate and Auction Company set a goal of $10,000 at the beginning of the auction and exceeded its goal raising $12,570.50. 

“The auction went very well, we had a great time and a lot of response with 141 registered bidders from both local and surrounding areas” said John Bearrows, Rochelle mayor and owner of Bearrows Real Estate and Auction Company. “All funds will be put towards bringing the building down and while it isn’t a huge number, everything counts because it all adds up.” 

All but six items were sold in the auction and those items will remain in the building for the time being. Individuals who purchased items during the auction picked them up from Hickory Grove on Saturday, Aug. 22 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

The City of Rochelle is currently working towards securing a grant to help fund the demolition project which will begin next spring if the grant is secured and this fall if it is not. Both the city and Bearrows Real Estate and Auction Company would like to thank everybody who participated in the event and purchased a piece of Rochelle history. 

“I would just like to thank all of the local people and bidders that helped in our auction,” Bearrows said. “There was also a lot of nostalgic pieces that I am glad to see fall back into the hands of local folk.”