ORLEANS TOWNSHIP — Opening a new business is seldom easy in tough economic times, but a recently opened auction house in Orleans Township is aiming to make a profit while also doing what it can to give back to local schools.
The owners of A-squared Theatre and Auction Hall, an indoor heated auction and special events venue at 7500 N. State Road (M-66) just 1.5 miles north of M-44, have set a goal to give 3 percent of total purchases made at their auctions to any local school at the buyers’ request.
According to co-owner Michael Astley, the auction hall donates 3 percent of auction sales to any local school district’s educational foundation through its Community Educational Reinvestment Program. Astley said the districts that benefit are determined by the designation of individual bidders during settlement after each auction.
“Three percent of your total purchase will go back to the school of your choice to their educational foundation, just as long as you ask for it to,” he said.
Co-owner Brian Allen said the duo’s past personal experiences working in the field of special education is the root of wanting to give back to local schools.
“You see the struggle the kids have and then you hear about all of the cuts,” Allen said. “So many schools have suffered through cuts and privatizations, we just wanted to do something different where we could give back.”
A percentage of sales from the auction house is also being given to Safe Haven Humane Society.
“Safe Haven gets a percentage of everything we sell,” Astley said. “We have a great relationship with them and we support each other as much as we can.”
Astley and Allen opened the auction house last autumn and said while sales have been modest to start the new year, they are hoping to see things pick up with the warmer spring and summer months.
“This facility started out as a store, but the area could not support a regular store,” Astley said. “We wanted to do something that was a little different, so we opened an auction house. There are auction houses that do a little bit of everything. We want to do that, but we want some higher end stuff too.”
A-squared currently holds auctions every Saturday at noon and plans to add food auctions in the near future. Items featured include antiques, automobiles and parts, coins, equipment, furniture, hunting, jewelry, memorabilia, military, motorcycles, musical, recreational and other vehicles, sporting, tools, toys and vintage items.
“It’s a big show,” Astley said. “It’s either three or four hours of either very expensive entertainment where you end up with some cool stuff or very cheap entertainment because you’re not being charged to be here.”
Astley added that he and Allen also are open to holding specialty auctions and special events in the facility, such as karaoke nights.
“There is no place that is a non-alcoholic venue for people to just hang out,” he said. “We can offer the perfect spot.”
For more information, Astley and Allen can be reached at (517) 881-6818 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.auctionzip.com and search for auction ID number 33377.