I want to speak to those of you who have never attended a WES auction: I was just like you once. Every year, for several years, when auction time rolled around, I enjoyed the funny in-platform announcements, but I did not attend. I didn’t attend an auction until after Amanda invited me to join the auction team, and only then did I find out what I had been missing out on.
Why didn’t I go? I guess it comes down to money. My sense was that auctions were for Big Spenders and my fear was that I would feel pressured – either implicitly or explicitly – to spend more than I was comfortable spending. I thought that it would be an uncomfortable, high-pressure evening.
As you can guess, these fears were unfounded. The first WES auction I attended had a masquerade theme and it was so much fun. The food was elegant and abundant, the wine flowed, the costumes were creative, and the live auction – with skits and surprises – was truly hilarious. I wrote my bidder number on a few bid sheets in the silent auction, was the high bidder for some of those things, but never once did I feel pressured.
Yes, the auction is a fundraiser and the point is to raise a lot of money for WES, so we hope that everyone attends with a mindset of generosity, knowing that the auction is the largest annual fundraiser for WES and helps to support the society year-round, including events such as Winter Fest, Spring Festival, and educational and social justice programs that enrich the life of the society. The decision to buy anything at the auction – and how much to spend – is yours to make; the hard part is choosing between the many items, services, events, and outings that have been donated by WES members and local businesses. The auction provides many opportunities to meet new friends, spend time with old friends, and learn new things about each other. Each year, I am amazed at the many talents, skills, and interests that WES members have, and it is a joy to see these reflected in the auction catalog and shared through dinners, movies, music, games, classes, excursions, and services provided throughout the year.
So, if you are feeling a little uncertain about attending the auction, I encourage you to give it a try. I promise that you will laugh and enjoy fabulous food. Nobody will force you to raise your hand during the live auction, but I hope you will enjoy the fun of bidding, knowing that your spending helps to support this community that we all care so deeply about.
Please click here for more information and to purchase tickets and register for childcare.
Sarah Morris, Auction Coordinator