Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Making of An Auction

I've talked a couple of times on here about the Foundation board I'm on.  Since our school system is landlocked and the district is tiny we are a very poor school.  In our district there's a private university and a large church so the property taxes that come in are slim.  Add to that fact that we are 66% transfer and the money that a neighboring school system gets for a student stays there after the student transfers to our school.  Basically when it comes to money, it's pretty slim pickens!  So the Foundation was formed to help raise money.  We're a working Foundation....meaning, don't get on it if you can't help.  A neighboring school system has a foundation you have to pay to be on and the work involved is going to meetings.  We're real.  We're special:C) 

One of our yearly fundraisers is a banquet.  It's where we honor teachers of the year, employees who have been with the district for milestone years, honor the honor students, and give out two surprise scholarships.  There's always a speaker and I've heard politicians, local news personalities, and even our very own small town boy who made good and plays for an NFL team. 

An auction was added the year I joined the Foundation to help make this evening also profitable.  Profits are always good.  The first year was was a learning year.  The second year we'd added an amazing auction diva to the board and she has taken us over the top.

The secret? Set up.

Starting in March we meet in a little tiny room with an 8 foot table, no room for two of the three of us to sit, and have a blast the whole time. We pick a theme for the table based on what items have been donated or purchased, set it all up with lifts, fabric, fill out the bid sheet with a starting bid and raise increments, take a picture of it, and pack it all up into a box with the table number on it.
Well, Pam and Janna do that.  I sit in a chair and create the auction program.  I come up with a cute and catchy title for each item, describe it, and add who donated it.  There's no way I could do their job, and they promise me there's no way they could do mine.  Having the internet at my fingers helps when we have a donation nobody know anything about.  Inside jokes happen every year, and I look forward to our weekly get together. 

So today was the day that everything came together.  We had everything taken to the nearby college's gym and we started the set up.  18 tables had to be done before our children got out of school for the day.  With our boxes, pictures, and drive we got down to business.

We start with the picture.
Then unpack the box.
And set it all up.

Sorry I picked one of the simplest tables!
But that night with the lights turned low, it looks really nice.

And just for fun...since this year people camped out for 7 days for a chance to get their name on a list to hopefully get their child in...the theme of the banquet was worked around that.  These are the high school students that volunteered to spend the evening 'camping out'.  We ordered them pizza and they entertained the guests coming in. 
So at the end of the evening we'd honored and congratulated everyone and made money to give back to the teachers and students next year.  All in all a fabulous evening spent helping the school I love.  What could be better??

1 comment:

jean said...

Okay, for some reason, every time I pulled up your blog, it was showing the post before this one as the most recent - until today... stupid computers! ANYWAY, I help do copywriting for the local PBS station on-air auction. We get together every Saturday morning for about 6 weeks prior to the auction - and yes, we have to do a lot of google searches on some of the stuff that we get in order to make it sound appealing. Looks like you had a great time!