Yes, you should donate and participate and there’s a very good reason below. But first, let me just get the ad portion of this blog out of the way.
Yes, we are holding our auction–but in 2 parts. Part 1 is a Silent Auction and it lasts for a week, starting November 11 and ending November 18. (That’s the part where back in the day we walked around the room—either before auction day at UUCA or on the night of the auction—and wrote our bids on bidding sheets.) Part 2 is a LIVE Zoom Auction on November 14 where about 10 items will be auctioned. (That’s the part where our auctioneer works hard to get prices up for what we hope are desirable items and where back in the day we ate, visited, enjoyed The Sandburgers, and danced.)
The auction committee has been working on this for several months now. They have attended a variety of other online auctions to see how it’s done and are sure we can come up with an auction that will actually be fun to experience online. I believe them. (I know they’re working on some very clever add-ons for the LIVE Zoom auction.)
But really, why bother this year? The most obvious answer is that the auction most assuredly raises more money than any other fundraiser for the congregation (about $35,000). And this is money that makes a huge difference in what we fund. But with our budget skewed this year in every direction, we don’t have any idea if this money is critical or not. And believe me, running an auction, especially one like never before, is a LOT of work.
Here’s a better answer though, which I re-learned on Sunday. It is literally all about connections! At last year’s auction, UUCA members Mike Closson and Jill Overholt donated 100 Frozen Monkey* ices for a gathering of the buyer’s choice. Without having any plan for it, the McLellans bought that item. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago. I’m having a casual conversation with the McLellans about how I’m trying to figure out how to offer some kind of outdoor gathering for UUCA and they offer their auction win (honestly, I didn’t even remember they had bought that!). And next thing you know, 75 or so of us enjoyed a beautiful late afternoon at UUCA, SEEING each other!!!
We had younger members (down to about 2), older members (up to about, well, never mind), and everyone in between. Nothing warms the heart of a UUCA staff member more than seeing a multigenerational gathering!
This, of course, is not the only auction item that works this way, although the scale is larger than normal. Any time you donate an item that gathers people together, you are creating micro “small-group” ministries. It really doesn’t matter if you are one of the amazing dinner providers or someone who has a few people over to bake bread. These gatherings make connections and these connections are what makes UUCA important in the lives of its congregants.
So, bottom line, the auction is an important part of our congregation’s year and through your generous participation–by donating items and buying items (we ask for donations at all price points)–you support the church through your time, talent, and treasure. It’s real stewardship; taking care of this congregation!
*Just because it’s interesting to know, Mike created this business himself and got a designer to create all his graphics on the trailer. It is not a franchise. (UUs can be so creative!)
Linda Topp, Director of Administration