by Carla Ruschival
ACB held its third annual Holiday Auction on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, and the evening was filled with fun and surprises. But the biggest surprise was the outcome — far, far exceeding our expectations. Here's the story.
The Holiday Auction Committee held its first meeting in late August. Brian Charlson and I were co-chairs; Patti Cox, Marlaina Lieberg, Larry Turnbull, Paula Wiese, and Lori Sarff (Minneapolis staff liaison) served on the committee. At its first meeting, the committee set two goals: (a) to obtain 60 items to be auctioned, and (b) to raise a record $6,000 for ACB Radio.
Auction night came. The auction broadcast team was in place at the iHeartMedia studios in Louisville, Ky.: Michael McCarty and I, on-air; Patti Cox and Paula Wiese, taking bids; and Jim Fenn and Larry Turnbull, producing and keeping us on the air. Items were donated; auction preview pages were on the ACB web site; Twitter tweets had been tweeted and Facebook posts had been posted; promotional e-mails were all over the ACB lists. Auction promos had been played throughout the big week-long ACB Radio 15th anniversary celebration. The Minnesota office was ready to process payments and ship items to the lucky winners.
It was 7 p.m. Eastern — Holiday Auction time on ACB Radio. People were listening on the Internet; people were listening on the phones. Kim Charlson, ACB president, was on the air, welcoming everyone to the big event. It was time to let the bidding begin.
Things got off to a slow start. At 7:30 Michael and I really weren't sure about reaching that $6,000 goal.
But then up came item 11 — the old-time radio package donated by Bill Sparks from Indianapolis. When a $1,000 bid came in on that item, the highest bid we had ever received in a holiday auction, I thought the item would sell. But was I wrong! The bidders didn't even pause for breath. Phone calls kept coming, and a few minutes later the item sold to Marcia Dresser for $2,500. We knew then we would make our goal, but we still had no idea what was in store for ACB Radio that night.
Four hours later, we went off the air. The bidding was over; every item had sold. As we walked down the hall from the studio to catch our rides home, Jim Fenn asked me if I was pleased with the auction; he guessed that we had raised between $7,000 and $8,000.
At midnight, sitting at my kitchen table, my husband Adam and I were totaling the successful bids. Shortly after 12:30 a.m., we called Brian and Kim Charlson, and we all shared in the excitement of an unbelievable record-breaking evening.
And now, for the total. Thanks to all of our fabulous donors and bidders, the 2014 ACB Radio Holiday Auction raised $11,155 — nearly double our original goal and more than the previous two auctions combined.
An auction must have two things to be successful — donors and bidders. 34 donors contributed a total of 64 items to the auction. A huge thanks to our generous 2014 donors: American Council of Blind Lions; ACB Mini Mall; ACB of Minnesota, Marian Haslerud and Sue Olson; Arizona Council of the Blind; Margarine Beaman; Kathy Brandt; Melanie Brunson; Brian Charlson; Kim Charlson; Patti Cox; Caroline Denham; Dan Dillon; Florida Council of the Blind; Maureen Foley; Kay Fulghum; Greater Louisville Council of the Blind; Guide Dog Users, Inc.; Horizons for the Blind; Donna Jodhan and Sterling Productions; Kathryn Johnson and USS Moontype; Kentucky Council of the Blind; Library Users of America; Marlaina Lieberg; Louisiana Council of the Blind; Marlaina's Mediterranean Kitchen; Francine Patterson and Pinkery Hill Jewelry; Philadelphia Metro Council of the Blind; Karen Pounders and Aloha Spa; Adam Ruschival; Carla Ruschival; Sacramento Braille Transcribers; Bill Sparks; Tami Sioux Silver Belts and Jewelry; and Washington Council of the Blind.
Many, many generous people from across the United States and Canada bid throughout the evening; 48 extremely generous folks won items in the 2014 auction. Those winners were: Bob Acosta, Ruth Ann Acosta, Sue Ammeter, Bill Baessler, Eugene Batke, Natalie Beyers, Melanie Brunson, Karyn Campbell, Jason Castonguay, Brian Charlson, Kim Charlson, Thomas Cumings, Debbie Deatherage, Agnes Deutill, Dan Dillon, Marcia Dresser, Brent Ford, Cari Ford, Katie Frederick, Mary Ellen Frost, John Glass, Mary Haroyan, Nona Haroyan, Marian Haslerud, George Holliday, Connie Jacomini, Cecilia Lee, Lora Leggett, Marlaina Lieberg, Jean Mann, Kevin Maynus, John McCann, Michelle Miller, Oral Miller, Trena Muncy, Teddie-Joy Remhild, Darla Rogers, Amy Ruell, Helen Skarpentzos, Melvin Smith, Dan Spoone, Phyllis Stevens, Ellen Telker, Jeff Thom, Leslie Thom, Gary Wood, Marcia Yale, and Vita Zavoli.
The outpouring of support for ACB and ACB Radio through the 2014 Holiday Auction was indeed amazing, and we thank each and every one of you who donated items, listened to the broadcast, placed bids and bought items. The ACB Radio Holiday Auction Committee is looking forward to the 2015 extravaganza, and we hope you are, too.