Once final figures come in, Union County Care Train organizers expect this year's donations to exceed 2009's record number by more than $25,000.

Once final figures come in, Union County Care Train organizers expect this year's donations to exceed 2009's record number by more than $25,000.

Members of the community poured into McAuliff's Ace Hardware last Saturday to bid on items in the annual Care Train auction. Organizer Pam Klaus said community members showed their support with their pocketbooks.

"It was electrifying, there were so many people there at Ace," Klaus said. "We were worried that there wasn't a lot of money out there for people to bid with, but we had amazing success getting out some of the items."

In addition to the auction, volunteers have been gathering funds through donation and sponsorships for the past several months. The charity works to assist families and residents in the county by providing food and toys to those in need during the holidays. Care Train purchases food vouchers and distributes them to needy families and seniors.

Last year, Care Train raised a record-breaking $127,000 in donations.

"When everything is said and done, added in with the other proceeds and little donations, we're going to go past $150,000 for this year, which is very exciting," Klaus said.

It was a small army of volunteers that made everything come together, she added.

"We are just so grateful to everyone that helped us, from the concert on Friday to the auction," Klaus said. "It's a huge relief to know that we'll be able to provide Christmas for everybody that asked for help. A lot of people think our job is over with the auction, but (today) we will have another army of volunteers to help transfer the packages."

A large variety of auction items helped to bring numbers up this year, Klaus added.

More than $138,000 was raised through the auction of a 1978 Chevrolet pickup truck, a 2001 Honda Civic, several other cars and promotional tickets, as well as memorabilia like OSU autographed footballs and jerseys.

"We had so many auction items that we had to have a silent auction for the late items that came in, which we've never had to do before," Klaus said.

Founded in 1987, the Care Train has helped numerous Union County families around the holiday season.

In 2008, 866 families received food vouchers, while 1,151 children and teens received toys.

354 elderly residents received help through a holiday meal.