We’re excited to start planning for East Shore’s auction this year, since this year we’ll actually be able to hold an in-person event. It will be on Saturday November 13 – hooray! Put it in your calendars now!! The East Shore Auction, usually held in November each year, is a big fund-raising opportunity for the church, and a wonderful way to build community, since the auction is all about offering social events and services to each other.
Last year, of course, the whole thing had to be held online. That gave us challenges but also some new opportunities:
- Members of the church rose to the challenge of learning some new software, and for the most part, people were happy to use the online catalog and do all the bidding online.
- Members living further away, having young children or not able to drive at night enjoyed the fact that they could participate along with everyone else.
- Contributors were creative in the events they offered, with some offering online events while others delayed their events until this summer so that winners could meet in person.
- Auction team members were thrilled with how easy it was to administer the auction online, with no need for error-prone data entry of winning bids and time consuming audits to try to catch our errors.
- And we still managed to raise a decent amount of money for the church, plus a significant amount for the Fund-a-need which was for Covid relief.
Of course, most of us missed the opportunity to get together and socialize while bidding, so we will be holding a live event this year. Here’s how we’re thinking it’s going to look:
- The auction items, catalog and bidding will still all be done online. This will enable those members not able to be there in person to participate as they did last year. It will also keep the administration of the auction much simpler. A few printed catalogs will be available for those who feel they have to have a paper version.
- Bidding will be open from November 5 – 13 to allow time for everyone to participate, though we expect most bidding will take place in the final few hours!
- On Saturday November 13, we will hold a FREE evening event in the Sanctuary, open to everyone. There will be a food buffet, wine and soft drinks, available to all. Childcare will be provided.
- Participants can bring their own smartphones or tablets to use for bidding at the event. Additional tablets and lots of volunteers will be available to help those who struggle with technology. Of course, there’s no need to bid. You can also just come and enjoy this East Shore community event.
- Volunteers will prepare the food in the North Room kitchen and serve drinks. Youth and other volunteers will be needed to help with greeting guests, serving up the food, clearing the dishes, and providing technical support to those needing help with bidding.
- We can also offer a parallel zoom event for those who are not able to participate in person to be able to watch the proceedings.
Now is a great time to start planning what you will contribute to the auction. We anticipate that there will no longer be any Covid restrictions, so that opens up a world of possibilities for events and services for members, gift certificates to restaurants, theaters and other events. We will start gathering your contributions in August.
We have a core team of volunteers already in place, but there are always opportunities for more people to get involved with soliciting contributions, managing physical items offered, and event support. We meet monthly on 2nd Mondays via zoom. Let me ([email protected]) know if you’d like to help.
We’re confident that we’ll be able to come together for a fantastic auction this year.
Amanda Strombom, Auction chair