Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine is encouraging local businesses and organizations in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties to participate in their 16th annual “Bids for Kids” Wreath Auction which will take place from Nov. 23 through Dec. 4. The fundraising auction supports the non-profit organization’s youth mentoring program in Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot and Waldo Counties.

“This year’s event will feature more wreath display locations (14) and live auctions in Camden-Rockport, Belfast, Damariscotta and Bangor. The wreath auction is a wonderful way for businesses to promote their products and services, while supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters youth mentoring program,” said event coordinator Cathy Hardy, in a news release. “Every year the wreaths get more creative and beautiful, and the unique items and gift certificates on each wreath make wonderful holiday gifts for family and friends. It’s a great way to shop for everyone on your holiday list,” she said.

The agency expects to have about 500 wreaths for this year’s event – the most ever. Alex Gaeth, CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters said, “Shoppers who purchase one of these wreaths are not only adding holiday cheer to their home, but are also helping to support more than 450 to 500 youth who will benefit from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program this year. Some of these wreaths are being decorated by our Big and Little matches. It’s a fun project they can do together and they can appreciate the fact that the wreath auction helps support their match.”

Businesses and organizations wishing to participate in the event should call Big Brothers Big Sisters now (593-0380) to get on the wreath delivery list. On Nov. 18, BBBS volunteers will deliver live, 12-inch evergreen wreaths to each business, which will have a few days to decorate the wreath with holiday decorations, items from their store, gift certificates, gift cards and other treats. Volunteers will return on Nov. 22 to pick up the decorated wreaths and deliver them to 14 auction sites where they will be displayed for the public and open for silent auction bids. The display sites include Camden National Bank branch offices in Belfast, Camden, Rockland, Thomaston, Union, Damariscotta, Bangor, Hampden, Hermon, Bangor and Corinth; Bath Savings Institution in Damariscotta and the Bangor Mall.

Bidding on the wreaths will start at all Midcoast locations on Wednesday, Nov. 23 (the day before Thanksgiving) and continue through Dec. 2. Bangor area wreaths will be on display and open for bids at the Bangor Mall and downtown Bangor stores from Nov. 25 (Black Friday) until Dec. 1.

All wreaths valued at $100 or more will be featured at live auctions to be held in Camden-Rockport, Damariscotta, Belfast, and Bangor. Approximately 40 to 50 wreaths will be auctioned at each location. These live auction wreaths (from each location) will be listed online at bbbsmcm.org and absentee bids will be accepted up until 4 p.m. on Dec. 2 for those unable to attend the live auctions in person.

The “Bids for Kids” Wreath Auction is sponsored by Camden National Bank.