Syrup auction raises record total for cancer

Travis and Lauren Dewar, left, received a cheque for $1,000 for the first litre of their 2019 maple syrup batch. Rob and Karlene Scott, centre, made the donation to the auction in support of the Northern Cancer Foundation. On the right are Carol and Bill Dewar, Travis’ parents.

PROVIDENCE BAY – The Dewar Family Maple Syrup Auction concluded last week with bidders engaged in a fierce competition of wits that resulted in a record-high winning bid for the Dewar family’s coveted first litre of syrup from this year’s run.

“We’re absolutely stoked. When we first started the event, we didn’t think we would ever reach heights like this, but we certainly have,” said Travis Dewar, the lead organizer of the auction.

This year’s big winner was the Scott Family who set a milestone of $1,000 with their winning bid—it’s the first time the auction has ever drawn four-digit bids. Karlene Scott entered the Facebook auction on behalf of her husband Rob, and also received a last-minute contribution from their daughter Sara to arrive at the winning total.

“It was Adam. He’s battling cancer right now and he’s my cousin. We’ve been close our whole lives,” said Mr. Scott after collecting the family’s prize.

Adam McDonald issued a call through a letter to the editor in last week’s Expositor, challenging auction participants to outbid him for the top prize. He is currently in hospital undergoing cancer treatments.

“What the Dewar family is doing has helped my family and other families feel the ease of the financial strain and provide resources while going through this journey. Not only am I proud to be from the same community as the Dewars, they have become good supportive friends,” he wrote in his letter.

“He threw down the gauntlet and so we picked it up and ran with it,” said Mr. Scott.

Mr. Dewar was just returning from visiting Mr. McDonald in hospital when he spoke with The Expositor about the auction.

“We would like to put out a heartfelt thank you to him on behalf of the Dewar family and the Northern Cancer Foundation. Because without that challenge, I don’t think we could have reached the heights that we did,” Mr. Dewar said.

The Scott family has not participated in the auction in the past and was not familiar with it until reading about it in this newspaper.

“That’s when we decided to jump on the bandwagon. I know it was something Adam had in his mind that he was looking at as part of his own therapy for what he’s going through. He would have happily paid that price himself,” Mr. Scott said.

“For myself and our family, this is somebody that’s near and dear to our hearts, Adam and his kids. My kids are quite close to his son and daughter so we just wanted to do our little bit to make Adam happy,” said Mr. Scott. 

With this year’s donations included, the family has contributed more than $4,300 to the Northern Cancer Foundation. Often, those who bid unsuccessfully will still request that their bids be honoured and forwarded to the foundation, as seen with Janyn Towns’ bid of $301 this year.

Mr. Scott also wanted to get people thinking about next year’s auction already with a call similar to the one raised by Mr. McDonald.

“I’d throw down the challenge right now for next year. I challenge anybody to outbid us,” he said.

As to what will be coming in the 2020 auction, Mr. Dewar remained mysterious when he hinted at some new ideas on the way. He vowed that the event would “shake things up a bit.” Mr. Dewar invites everyone to cast their bids next year for a taste of sweet, sweet victory.