Auction Success

My favorite activity our Garden club does is our Christmas Auction. It almost is one of my favorite things I do all year. For years Pat Joklik was the auctioneer. She was fantastic. Then she asked me if I would do it because she said she didn’t know everyone’s names as more young members were being admitted. I hated that Pat felt that way, but I gladly took over. You know I like nothing more than a captive audience and a chance to pat them from their money for a good cause. I think this was my 20th year as the auctioneer.

Today was a rollicking event. We had about sixty people, many of whom were well loved guests. The garden club members brought fabulous items to auction. It started late last night when George Littlewood showed up at our house with the largest, most beautiful white pot filled with five fabulous orchids. It was so big and heavy I had to have Russ get out of bed, get dressed and help George carry it in. The requirement of each garden club member is to bring something worth at least $25 to be auctioned. This arrangement was the item of Page Littlewood and Leslie Kirkland and it was way over their requirement. It sold for $500!

Carol Shepard brought her famous Bouche de Noel with beautiful meringue mushrooms. It went for $300! As did Holley Broughton’s Happy New Year wreath! Laura Virkler’s homemade jams and Anna Whalen’s Bolognese went for $300 each and my Turkey Curry in a red pot was just under that.

The bidding was fast and furious. People were generous and competitive. It made for a very fun auction.

I could never host this event and be the auctioneer all at the same time if I didn’t have the best group of Co-hostesses, Christy Barnes, Carolyn Sloate, Kay Peters and Leslie Brame manned the kitchen the whole day! When I say the whole day I mean from nine to three. They baked the Christmas tree cheese stuffed rolls I prepared, dressed the Chinese chicken salad, served the cranberry trifle and cleaned every fork, plate and glass! I am eternally grateful for all that they did, including the at home food prep work I assigned them.

For years one member, who I shall not name, but if you are in garden club you know who she is, has been lobbying to have wine at the auction. This year we decided to honor her request, but then she could not come to the auction. We had a case of wine, of various types. At the end of the day we assessed what was drunk. Two bottles were opened, but only half of the wine in each bottle was gone.

Our club treasurer, Missy McLeod, works all through the auction, never even eating lunch. She checks all the items in, and takes notes on all the winning bids and collects all the money in the end. After the whole thing was done she sent an email out to the club saying that we had raised $6,045 which when she collect money from the people who did not bring a auction item will be an even bigger number, surpassing our highest amount ever raised.

The member who wanted the wine wrote me a response to the big total number, “Must have been the wine!” It was not! All bidding was sober and heartfelt! Way to go Hope valley Garden club. Thanks for another great, no, even better, auction.

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