When Amanda first emailed me a few years ago to see if I would be willing to step into leadership for the WES auction, I was lying under a mosquito net in a rental house on a family vacation in Costa Rica. Despite having had a few mojitos that night, I was sufficiently sober to know that this was not an invitation to be accepted without some reflection, especially considering I hadn’t even ever attended the WES auction and it seemed like an enormous job. I pondered for a while, accepted Amanda’s invitation, and started to learn what is so special about the WES auction.
The auction provides many opportunities to meet new friends, spend time with old friends, and learn new things about each other. 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 service throughout the year. The auction also gives us an opportunity to go into the community and interact with local business owners. When I solicit an auction donation from a business, I know I am asking them for a favor, but I like to think that I’m also doing them a small favor by introducing them to our community.
Just as the impact of the auction on our relationships and fellowship with each other is felt throughout the year, the financial impact also resonates during the year. The funds that are raised by the auction allow WES to underwrite other events and activities, such as Winter Fest, Spring Festival, and educational and social justice programs that enrich the life of the society. I am not a person who is comfortable talking about money or asking people for favors, but once I realized that I could help WES and make new friends by hosting an afternoon tea or a poker party or giving some knitting lessons, it became easier to overcome those hesitations.
Finally, auction night is a special evening. For the auction team, it is the culmination of months of work and for the WES community it is a time to celebrate our many gifts and the generosity of the donors and bidders alike. What a joy to see this community laughing together during the live auction (there’s nothing better than a WES skit) and pondering quiches, jewelry, books, gift baskets, crafts, and theater tickets. I hope that everyone who reads this will attend and have a wonderful time! I’ll see you on October 21st!