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Wroten auction raises interest as well as bids

May 07, 2006|By TARA REILLY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

Two used cars sold for less than $300 each.

A 24-inch television was auctioned for $25.

Plenty of other items - including a commercial coffee brewer, framed pictures, bicycles and pillows - also sold for bargain prices.

Rod Sowers, warden of Roxbury Correctional Institution, was interested in buying tables, but was outbid.

But losing to another buyer didn't matter much to Sowers, who attended the auction Saturday at Miss Irene's Child Development Center in Martinsburg.

Sowers said he was glad people were supporting the event, a fundraiser for the five children of slain RCI Officer Jeffery Alan Wroten.

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"My concern is not to get something for me, but to have things be sold so the funds raised can all go to Jeffery Wroten's family," Sowers said.

The interest from those who bid on items and put the event together was touching, he said.

"When you see the amount of time and dedication and care and willingness to help, it makes you feel good ..." Sowers said.

Bob Daniels, a supervisor for the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at RCI - the shift that Wroten worked - and his family bought stacks of movies, games, a number of fishing poles and other items.

Daniels also picked up old John Wayne movies for his wife.

"My wife is crazy about him," he said.

Wroten, 44, of Martinsburg, was shot Jan. 26 at Washington County Hospital while he was guarding an inmate. He died Jan. 27.

Brandon Travon Morris, who was serving an eight-year sentence at RCI for assault and weapons convictions, was charged with killing Wroten.

Auctioneer Denny Stouffer of Stouffer's Auction & Real Estate Co. said all of the proceeds would go to a trust fund for Wroten's children.

Stouffer, who worked with Wroten at RCI for two years before he retired, organized the event with the assistance of Miss Irene's.

All of the items in the auction were donated, and mainly were used items.

Stouffer said another auction, featuring new items and services up for bid, will be Monday at Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

Stouffer said he was pleased with the way people have pulled together to support Wroten's family.

Tragic events, such as Wroten's killing, can happen "to anybody at any time" in the field of corrections, he said.

"There's just so much violence out there," Stouffer said. "By the time they (inmates) get into a state institution, they're the worst of the worst."

Stouffer said doors open for Monday's auction at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 each.

Stouffer asked people to request tickets ahead of time by calling 301-791-6896.

For a listing of items available at Monday's auction, go to www.stouffersauctionco.com.

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