CINCINNATI - Vacations, catching ballgames, seeing TV shows in person. It all sounds fun, but, there is an extremely serious purpose behind the Crime Stoppers online auction that's under way now.
For over 30 years, Crime Stoppers has averaged paying out more than tens of thousands of dollars for tips leading to arrests in all manners of crimes. The organization gets all of its financial support from donations big and small and each year the online auction at WCPO.com and Telethon on 9 News are the biggest fundraiser Crime Stoppers undertakes.
Like virtually everything else the past two years, the recession has taken a toll. It's a perfect storm where crime can increase and the tips that stop the criminals increase too, while donations go down. Serving Greater Cincinnati and the rest of southwest Ohio, as well as Northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana, Crime Stoppers needs the community's support to continue its good work.
That good work yields results. In 2011 alone, Crime Stoppers tips led to arrests in 565 cases... 30 of those were homicides and 101 were other violent crimes. In the 119 cases that went to trial in 2011, 103 resulted in convictions. Since the Cincinnati chapter came into being in February of 1981, nearly 15,000 crimes have been solved through the program that pays cash for anonymous tips.
All of that success takes money.
This is where you come in. The online auction offers you the opportunity to bid on some interesting, valuable, and unique items. Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization with all the tax benefits that come from that. Go to winningbid4u.com to start bidding on items such as finding your way into the Green Room at "Jimmy Kimmel Live," or take in batting practice with the Reds and meet the players. Those are just a couple of things.
Here are several other of the items you can bid on:
One-Night Stay Hyatt Regency
Cincinnati Bengals Poster Signed by Boomer Esiason
Streamlight Stormlight Stylus Pro White LED
Northern Kentucky Tailgating Package
Cincinnati Bearcats Fan Package
2-hour Pool Birthday Party
HPI Switch Front Wheel Drive RTR Touring Car w/Scion xB Body
Cincinnati Bearcats Fan Package
4 Tickets to Cincinnati Reds Game with Parking
Premier Choice Award Gift Card
Streamlight Strmlght Stylus Pro White LED
Ogio Locker Bag
Blue Ash Golf Course Greens Fees and Carts
One Night St at Crowne Plaza
On Tuesday, April 3, document shredding trucks courtesy of Document Destruction and Innovacycle were placed at three locations in the Tri-State: The Firehouse Grill at Pfeiffer Road and Reed Hartman Highway in Blue Ash, the Florence Square Shopping Center, 7683 Mall Road in Florence, and in front of the new Jungle Jim's location in Eastgate. Hundreds of people dropped off documents that were shredded by Document Destruction and Innovacycle in exchange for a donation to Crime Stoppers.
Tanya O'Rourke and Brendan Keefe hosted an hour-long Crime Stoppers Telethon special from 8-9 p.m. Tuesday night. The Firehouse Grill in Blue Ash also hosted a silent auction as part of the telethon.
If you're not interested in any of the auction items or missed the telethon, you can make a cash donation directly to Crime Stoppers at http://www.crime-stoppers.us/donate1.aspx .
As of Tuesday night, over $87,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of the community. The online auction ends Friday at midnight.