First holiday auction to launch

Published: Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — The gift card has become a Christmas season staple. Crestview News Bulletin readers have a chance to buy nearly $150,000 worth of gift certificates from more than 90 local businesses.

The News Bulletin and its sister area newspapers with Halifax Media Group will launch their first online Emerald Coast Holiday Auction on Nov. 25, featuring gift certificates from 91 local businesses. It’s billed as the Emerald Coast’s largest-ever gift certificate auction.

You can view the selections online now before bidding begins.

Steve Krammes, the News Bulletin’s advertising director, came up with the idea and organized similar auctions while working at the Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H.

“People love gift certificates for Christmas presents, and we worked the timing so the bidding will start on Sunday, Nov. 25, just a couple of days after Black Friday and the day before Cyber Monday,” he said.

Local businesses have pledged a combined $148,453 in gift certificates for the auction, which will launch online at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25. Bidding will end at 8 p.m. Dec. 2. The minimum bid for each gift certificate will start at 50 percent of its actual value.

Go to and click on the auction banner to register and begin bidding.

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