SIOUX CITY | Make no bones about it, a frisky 15-week-old Scottish terrier named Finnegan will be the star of the show at Saturday's Little Yellow Dog auction.
The puppy will go to the highest bidder at the 79th annual auction, set for noon at the Ho-Chunk Centre.
Sponsored by the Ancient and Effervescent Order of the Little Yellow Dog, the auction's proceeds will benefit the Journal's Mr. Goodfellow Charities, a 100-year-old tradition that will provide books and toys to about 8,000 underprivileged Siouxland children.
"There are very few local charities with a mission statement as simple as ours," Gregg Lucken, president of the Little Yellow Dog Auction Club, explained. "All of our money stays local, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the kids."
Lucken said the auction is always festive, exciting and family-friendly.
"The Ho-Chunk Centre atrium will have plenty of Christmas decorations, and the All-America Band will be playing live holiday music," he said. "It will be impossible not to be in the mood for Christmas."
In addition, Finnegan, who was donated by Doug and Kathy Batcheller and Jim Batcheller, will be introduced to many of the prospective bidders.
Longtime Little Yellow Dog auctioneer Bruce Brock, of Le Mars, Iowa's Brock Auction Co., will once again call out for bids.
"The bidding usually starts at $500 and escalates quickly after that," Goodfellow Charities treasurer Sue Stusse noted.
Last year, Eric and Patty Lohry won a liver-and-white springer spaniel named Snickers with their $15,000 bid.
"It's always entertaining to see (auctioneer Brock) work the room," Lucken said. "He really knows how to keep the momentum going."
That's important to Lucken, a 25-year veteran of the Little Yellow Dog Club.
"I'm very proud of my affiliation with the Little Yellow Dog auction because it's all about local citizens and businesses working together, making Christmas a little brighter for underprivileged kids," he said.
Lucken said everyone is invited to attend this year's auction.
"Even though the auction annually attracts 400 to 500 people, we'd like to see a greater attendance," he said. "Whether or not you bid, it's still a fun and festive event."
Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet Finnegan.
"Of course," Lucken said. "He is the star of the show, after all."