ANC’s Online Auction is Open: Bid Early and Bid Often

I’ve participated as an adult in many fundraisers that involved a variety of auctions; live, silent, and even Dutch.

But an online auction is a different creature, as I learned the hard way in March when my overwhelming guilt over forgetting my promised donation of a coffee cake for Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary caused me to do an impromptu online bake sale.

My intentions were pure, but it was a bit of a logistical nightmare, because there were four winning bidders for each of the four different baked-goods categories, which, even with my journalist non-math skills, I knew equaled 16 winners. In the case of the rugelach and the molasses ginger cookies, those winners got two dozen of each, which meant 96 cookies and 96 rugelach. Oy!

96 rugelach went to the four highest online bake sale winners in March to benefit Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.

I learned a lot from that first online auction. You can read about it here, since if I talk about it any longer I think I may start suffering extreme baking flashbacks.

Today’s auction is far different. For one thing, it’s a deliberate auction, one initiated by ANC’s own Deb Segelitz of Scotland, who felt so helpless to help us – her north state friends – during the summer’s Carr Fire that she commissioned Welsh artist Paul Jones — of aptly named Phoenix Glass — to create a piece for a possible fundraiser. Behold, the Carr Fire Phoenix was born. You can read more back story about that here. 

The Carr Phoenix glass sculpture, commissioned by ANC’s own Deborah Segelitz, created by artist Paul Jones.

Soon, the idea snowballed, and wonderful ANC subscribers started adding their own incredible donations for this potential online auction. Here’s one way that this auction is unlike any of which I’ve been involved before: I did not go out and solicit one single donation. Not one. They all came to us from our generous subscribers. Every one. Thank you, all!

Now, the auction is no longer potential, it’s real. Today’s the first day. You’ll see that the donated items’ values range from $40 to several thousand dollars. There’s something for virtually everyone to bid on, or to join forces with others for a combined bid.

This auction is ANC’s first official online auction, and it accomplishes something I’ve wanted to do since ANC’s inception 11 years ago: It allows us to create an educational scholarship fund. But this one is specific: It’s open just for graduating seniors who lost their homes to any of the north state’s 2018 summer fires.

Our goal is to raise $4,000 so we will have $1,000 to give four students. And in my dreams, we’d exceed that goal, and have enough to keep in our specially designated bank account to get a head start on ANC Carr Fire Scholarships for the class of 2020.

Bidding will take place in the comments section below each post.  There will be one post for every item. (Thank you, Joe. Do you still love me?)

The auction will last one week, from Monday to Monday; Nov. 5 through Nov. 12. This gives everyone a lot of time to keep checking back on your bids throughout the week. This makes me happy, since I’m a bidder, too.

Finally, on Fri. Nov. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m., I will host an open-house auction reception in my home for the auction-item donors and the winning bidders so they can meet, and the bidders can pay for their items and take them home. Of course, there will be refreshments, especially since we’ll be celebrating’s 11th birthday. (Of course, we will make arrangements to deliver items to winning bidders who can’t attend the reception.)

Because only paid subscribers are allowed to comment, we will offer 1-week’s free subscriptions for all readers – even non-subscribers –  so we can allow maximum access to the most potential bidders for this worthy cause. After that, it’s like Cinderella at midnight, and non-paying readers will return to limited access after the auction ends.

Bid early, and you’ll have an entire week to bid often. The funds raised will provide a Carr Fire Scholarship to a young person who lost his or her home to fire, from all of us at We can’t restore their burned homes, and we can’t heal their hurt or sense of loss, but we can offer them a silver lining in the middle of all the smoke and ash and loss; proof that some happy days will be here again, after the fire, after all.

Hand-Thrown Pit-Fired Ceramic Pot — Adrienne Jacoby & Joanne Lobeski Snyder

‘The Tomten’ Winter Print and Companion Book — Candace Corbin

Watercolorist Mary Spivey’s ‘Quebec Street in Winter’ — Candace Corbin

‘Fire Watch’ Oil Painting — Chuck Prudhomme

Mirror & Wood Mosaic Phoenix Heart-Art — Connie Koch

Carr Fire Phoenix by Welsh Artist Paul Jones of Phoenix Glass — Deb Segelitz

Butter Creek Ranch Wines — Don & Elaine Cohen

Doni’s Famous Sour Cream Coffee Cake (2) — Doni Chamberlain

Noni Doni’s Tiny Cake (2) — Doni Chamberlain

Dinner for 8 in Doni’s Home — Doni Chamberlain & Cal and Christa DeMercurio

‘Whiskeytown Blue #1’ Watercolor — Erin Friedman

Carr Fire Gold Pendant With Fire Opal and Diamonds — Janine Hall

Fine Wine & Chocolates Basket — Judy and Lee Salter

Hand-Crocheted Afghan — Karen Field

Hand-Made, Hand-Painted Double-Sided Bird House — Kitty Conners

Shelly Shively Designs

Please only bid on the comments of each individual item from the links above.

Click here for more fire stories.  
Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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19 Responses

  1. (Thanks, Joe, for helping get these 17 posts formatted and published.)

    OK, friends. I’m going to bed for a few hours. I can’t wait to see the bids when I wake up.

    xo d

  2. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    What an undertaking!! Thanks to Deb for starting this, to Doni for flying with it, to Joe for formatting the auction site, and to all the donors for their beautiful contributions.

  3. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Herculean effort on both Doni’s AND Joe’s part. THANK YOU.

    • Remember that movie, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” That was me and Joe in the wee hours of this morning, with him urging me on to keep writing as he formatted everything. At about 3 a.m. I was losing steam and campaigning for just rolling out a few items a day. He wouldn’t have it, because he wanted every item to have equal air time. He was right, of course. He’s a gentle nudger.

      I really like how Joe made it so even after you’ve clicked on an item off the main story, there’s a link to take you back to the original list to resume looking at the rest of the auction items.

  4. Avatar Darcie Gore says:

    Thanks for all your work on this Doni. I think I may speak for others who might want to donate cash to the scholarship fund. When I think of all events that happen during high school, the trauma of losing your home is not one of them! How can we do that?

    • Darcie, you may have retired from your work as a social worker, but you still think like one, when you consider the trauma during high school of losing one’s home.

      What a great idea to have a place for cash donations. Joe and I will put our heads together about the easiest way to do this. I’m actually going to my bank today about ANC’s Carr Fire Scholarship Fund, and I think one way is to write a check to that account when I get everything squared away.

      Thank you, Darcie. 🙂

  5. Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

    So excited to see how it all goes! Superb effort, Doni & Joe and all the donors – and bidders, too!

    • LOL, you are cracking me up, Deb. I picture you eating popcorn (or Scottish oats) – rubbing your hands together, checking on bids. You really are the Carr Fire fundraiser starter. Three cheers for you!

      p.s. did you see the most recent bidder on your beloved Phoenix? 🙂

  6. Avatar Eleanor Townsend says:

    “Oy!” right back at you, Doni and Joe, for putting together this amazing mosaic of an article!! Wow, and such fun too! I remember that movie, can just picture the two of you across the ocean and seas in the dead of night! Never giving up! Great work!

  7. Joe Domke Joe Domke says:

    Welcome new free subscribers! You can read past exclusive articles here:

  8. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Well, okay then . . . . I’ve officially become an auction hound! First thing I do every morning when I fire up the ol’ computer is to check out the auction and the bids. GREAT EYE OPENER!!

  9. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Doni, the auction is from the 5th to the 12th. Is that midnight on the 12th or the morning of the 12th or midnight on the 11th so that it ends on the 12th? Inquiring minds want to know!

  10. Good question, Beverly. The auction goes until the end of Monday, so on 11:59 Joe will disable comments so there will be no more bids accepted after that point.

  11. Joe Domke Joe Domke says:

    Bidding is now closed.