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!
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.
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 aNewsCafe.com'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 aNewsCafe.com. 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.
Please only bid on the comments of each individual item from the links above.Click here for more fire stories.