VIDEO: Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com
Special to The Gardner News
October 7, 2013 – Here’s a Gardner trivia question: What’s the Monday Night tradition in Gardner that has been going non-stop for almost 44 years? It’s Stricker’s Auction!
Stricker’s Auction Company was founded in April of 1970 by Jerry and Carole Stricker of Gardner, Kansas. The Stricker’s held weekly consignment auctions every Monday night, rain or shine, for over 30 years. Since 2012, consignment auctions are held on the first Monday of each month from April thru November, excluding September.
In 1970, Jerry Stricker was working for Cramer Products, Inc., a sports medicine manufacturer located in Gardner. As an investment, Jerry and Carole bought an old COOP building in hopes that Cramer’s would lease the building for storage. However, at the last minute Cramer’s backed out and the Stricker’s were stuck with this big empty building. All of Jerry’s co-workers were harassing him about what he was going to do now that he was stuck with this old building. When he told them he was thinking about starting a consignment auction, they all laughed. Using their laughter as inspiration, Jerry enrolled at the Missouri Auction School and 2 weeks later held the first ever auction at Stricker’s Auction.
In 1976, Jerry retired from Cramer’s to devote more time to the auction, his wife and 2 sons, Ron and Rick. The auction continued to prosper, and in 1984 Ron graduated from Missouri Auction School and joined his parents in the family business. The Stricker’s then began running 2 auction rings simultaneously to keep up with the amount of merchandise that they were receiving every week. Selling at a pace of about 3 items per minute, the Stricker’s don’t fool around. They sell between 1500 and 2000 items every week, starting at 6:00PM and going like gang busters ’til everything is sold.