Live From Durham, NH, It’s the 45th NHPBS Spring Auction Right Now

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Katie Wheeler

Airs LIVE April 25-28 and May 2-5 @ 6 PM; online bidding at


DURHAM — It all started on a hot day in July, 1973, when New Hampshire Network General Manager, Keith Nighbert flagged down Katie Wheeler in a grocery store parking lot in Durham, and asked if she’d like to start an auction.

Public Television auctions were popping up all over the country, and Katie immediately saw that “it was a way of engaging the entire state and building community.” So without hesitation, she said, “Let’s put on a show!”

Katie went straight to work and enlisted a crackerjack team of volunteers including Jean Lockwood, Doris Peterson and Pri Phoenix. And just like that the NH Country TV Auction was born.

Building community – that was the major goal of the Auction; that and having fun, and raising money for their local PBS station. “It was chaos, but it was very exciting because we were starting it, we were making it, it was ours and it was brand new,” said Wheeler.

From its humble beginning in the basement of the UNH Memorial Union Building to Snively Arena to Pease and back to the NHPBS Studios in Durham – through hard work and late nights lasting friendships were forged at the Auction.

Take thousands of amazing donations, add hundreds of volunteers and throw in some farm animals and you’ve got LIVE local television at its best.

Forty-five years later the NHPBS Auction is still making memories. “Newcomer” Ryan Grogan, who has 10 volunteering years under his belt, started out as a teenager helping his mother who was working behind the scenes. Now Ryan is one of the youngest volunteers producing a board alongside veteran volunteer, Scott Beliveau.

“I think a lot of the younger generation has started to engage more in civic duty and giving back. I think the NHPBS Spring Auction is an opportunity to give back and make sure programs stay on the air,” said Grogan.

And this year, the largest and longest-running LIVE fundraising auction in New England is celebrating its 45th anniversary! The NEW HAMPSHIRE PBS SPRING AUCTION airs LIVE from April 25-28 and May 2-5 on NHPBS and online at Online bidding remains lively every night, including the non-broadcast days (4/29-5/1 ).

For 45 years the NHPBS SPRING AUCTION promotes thousands of small and large regional businesses,local artists, restaurants and more. Online bidding at is already underway on exciting and unique items, including:


  • WINDOWS TO THE WILD experience with Willem Lange and crew


  • A beautiful pair of Hearts on Fire diamond hoop earrings donated by Springer Jewelers.


  • One-of-a-kind hand-painted tables created just for the NHPBS SPRING AUCTION


  • Getaways galore! Take a vacation to Madeira, enjoy winter getaway with Ski tickets to Cannon Mountain and a hotel stay at Woodwards Resort or a weekend in Boston at the Omni Parker House Hotel.


  • For the sports enthusiast: an autographed baseball from the Red Sox’s Xaneder Boegarts and tickets to all your favorite teams – the Fisher Cats, the Portland Sea Dogs, UNH Men’s Hockey, UNH Women’s Basketball and the Boston Red Sox.


  • The NHPPBS SPRING AUCTION has items for home and garden, including gift certificates from Blue Seal Feed, Wentworth Greenhouse, Lake Street Garden center, a shed from Reeds Ferry Sheds of New England and two beautiful bathroom sinks from The Ultimate Bath Store.


  • The art lover can preview works by local artists and artisans on the Virtual Gallery at Bid online for jewelry, stoneware, framed paintings and photographs and other handcrafted pieces.  These juried items and many more are offered during Gallery Night, Wednesday, May 2.



Wednesday, April 25  Back to 1973/Tie-Dye

Thursday, April 26  Tropical Night

Friday, April 27  How To Night

Saturday, April 28  Favorite PBS Character/Favorite Hat

Sunday, April 29  Online bidding only:

Monday, April 30 Online bidding only:

Tuesday, May 1  Online bidding only:

Wednesday May 2  Black Tie/Gallery

Thursday May 3  Home, Garden & Agriculture

Friday May 4  Sports Night

Saturday May 5  Auction FANatic

Auction FANatics everywhere can enjoy the 45th NHPBS SPRING AUCTION via live video stream at

This year’s goal is to raise over $300,000 to support NHPBS’s quality programs and services on-air, online, in schools and in your community.

“We’re celebrating this monumental milestone, and our Auction donors are stepping up to the plate and celebrating alongside us with generous donations for our 45th Spring Auction.  More donations are still needed, and we’ll take donations right up until the very end.  Our Auction volunteers are working  fast and furious to process the donations that are coming in from New England and beyond. Our volunteers, generous donors and Auction bidding fans are the key to making the 45th NHPBS SPRING AUCTION a success,” notes NHPBS Director of Fundraising Events Judy Pinkham.

There’s still time to volunteer or donate.  Call the NHPBS AUCTION Office at (603) 868-4432 or go online at  New Hampshire PBS counts on each donation and bid to provide award-winning PBS and local programs, as well as educational and community services to Northern New England.

About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement.

Phone (603) 868-1100  •  Fax (603) 868-7552

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