St. Jude is a way of life for Minden.
For four days every year, pretty much the entire town converges upon the civic center to help the Memphis-based children's cancer research hospital save lives and search for cures.
"What ya'll do in Minden is quite tremendous," St. Jude Regional Event Specialist Danielle Chauvin said. "Because of what you have done in the past, people from the hospital are well aware of what Minden does."
The auction officially begins at noon Thursday with the civic center - inside and out - abuzz with events through Sunday night.
"The thing is that more new people get involved every year, and that's what keeps it alive," Minden Economic Development and Main Street coordinator Pattie Odom said. "This is an event that belongs to the community, and that's why it's been successful for so many years."
The auction format remains the same with thousands of "board" items and bigger items up for raffle.
The grand prize this year is a GMC Denali truck rather than the SUV.
"We decided to change it up," auction co-chair Melissa Brown said. "The body style is new on the truck, but it hadn't changed on the SUV. We wanted to be different."
Also different is the broadcast. Due to an administration and curriculum change, Bossier Parish Community College is playing a very limited role in the production. The auction purchased its own video equipment and production will be conducted by auction volunteers with some assistance from BPCC.
The four-wheeler raffle is a thing of the past as well. This year in place of it is a side-by-side.
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