The first I ever heard of a Silent Auction was when I began working on a church staff that seemed to have silent auctions at every event outside Sunday and Wednesday programming. I was mesmerized at the items on display, the names on a paper list set just below the item, and the downright giddiness when someone “wins.”
At the Georgia Preschool Association Annual Conference that is held in Atlanta, I serve as the Silent Auction Chairperson. I get to send out letters to statewide non-profits, museums, shows, theatres, and historical sites inviting them to partner with us to help support our educational efforts through the maintaining of the website. I also ask each Executive Board member to “invite” 3 from their respective areas of the state to participate by donating an item or a gift certificate.
This is my 4th year and it is an auction alright, but “silent” it is not. We laugh our heads off, we stalk the items we really want, and I was even “eh, eh, eh’d” by a 2 year old teacher when I leaned in to put in my bid for a Scentsy Smelly Pig. The stalkers stand guard over their favorite items ready to increase the bid when an unsuspecting gawker just happens to bump up the bid by 2 bucks. This is serious!
Items range from a $150 grocery gift card (which is a bargain if you can get it for anything less than $150) to mystery bags (GPA logo’d bags filled with whatever we can’t individually itemize.)
My personal goal is to exceed $2,000. We made it by $400. The website is sustained and there is money set aside to prepare the silent auction for next year.
I hope the Scentsy ladies return to donate next year. They had a stuffed elephant that smells of whatever scent you put in it’s zippered compartment in its back. I think it would be hilarious to respond to someone asking where the smell is coming from and I can say, “It’s the elephant in the room.”