by Carla Ruschival
The fourth annual holiday auction, held Dec. 6, 2015, was full of fun and surprises.
The holiday auction committee began its work in July. Articles appeared in the “Forum”; notices were posted on ACB e-mail lists requesting donations; and details were reviewed to make the event as smooth and successful as possible.
From late September until early November, the phones kept ringing, telling us about great items that were coming from both individuals and affiliates for the auction. It was like Christmas every day as our Minnesota office received deliveries of wonderful items. Descriptions were written, photos taken, and items posted to the auction preview page on the ACB web site.
The evening arrived. People all across country had visited the preview page and were ready to bid on their favorite items. The Twitter team was tweeting; Facebook posts had been posted; promotional e-mails were all over the ACB lists. Auction promos had been played for weeks on ACB Radio. The Minnesota office was ready to process payments and ship items to the lucky winners.
The auction broadcast team was in place at the iHeartMedia studios in Louisville, Ky. 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 for the bidding to begin.
Bidding was often fast and furious. The auction was scheduled to end at 11 p.m. Eastern. Knowing that this might be difficult to accomplish, we had decided in advance that we would stay on until all items were sold. Six hours later, at 1 a.m. Eastern, 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 Uber and Lyft rides home, we speculated that we had at least equaled the 2014 total.
At 2:30 a.m., my husband Adam and I finished totaling the successful bids. The final total for 2014 was $11,155. This year, we set a new record for the holiday auction: $13,540. What a great expression of support for ACB Radio!
An auction must have two things to be successful — donors and bidders. Forty-five individuals, affiliates and businesses contributed a total of 67 items to the auction (an increase of 11 from 2014). A huge thanks to our generous 2015 donors: ACB Lions; ACB Students; ACB Mini Mall; ACB of Minnesota, Janet Dickelman, Marian Haslerud, Sue Olson, Steve and Bonnie Robertson, and Juliette Silvers; Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss (AAVL); Arizona Council of the Blind; Margarine Beaman; Keri Bishop; Blind Alive; Blind Pride International (BPI); Blind Information Technology Specialists (BITS); Kathy Brandt; Jason Castonguay on behalf of the All-New Main Menu on ACB Radio; Brian Charlson, Kim Charlson and Vicki Vogt; Patti Cox; Dan Dillon; Maureen Foley; Greater Louisville Council of the Blind; Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI); Debbie Hazelton on behalf of the Cooking with the Hazelnuts, Good Energy Mix, In the Quiet, and the new Affiliate Spotlight shows on ACB Radio; Mandi Holley; George Holliday; Illinois Council of the Blind; Connie Jacomini; Kentucky Council of the Blind; Library Users of America (LUA); Sharon Lovering; Marlaina’s Mediterranean Kitchen; Missouri Council of the Blind; Janet Pecorari; Tamika Polk on behalf of the North Carolina Council of the Blind; Carla Ruschival; Tami Sioux Silver Belts and Jewelry; Phyllis Sirrine; Bill Sparks; Shirley Stivers; Jeff and Leslie Thom.
Many, many generous people from across the United States bid throughout the evening; 50 extremely generous folks from 20 different states and the District of Columbia won items in the 2015 auction. Those winners were: Bob Acosta, Ruth Ann Acosta, Sue Ammeter, Ann Brash, Donna Brown, Karyn Campbell, Ray Campbell, Jason Castonguay, Brian Charlson, Berl Colley, Patti Cox, Debbie Deatherage, Jim Denham, Chris Devin, Kathy Devin, Janet Dickelman, Paul Edwards, Todd Fahlstrom, Brent Ford, Cari Ford, John Glass, Debbie Grubb, Mary Haroyan, Debbie Hazelton, George Holliday, Connie Jacomini, Richard Johnson, Michael Keller, Marlaina Lieberg, Tyler Littlefield, Barbara Lombardi, Jean Mann, Scott Marshall, John McCann, Barbara McDonald, Oral Miller, Marcia Moses, Rhonda Nelson, Donna Pomerantz, Mitch Pomerantz, Helen Skarpentzos, Dan Spoone, Leslie Spoone, Sharon Strzalkowski, Randy Tedrow, Jeff Thom, Richard Villa, Elaine Weisbard, Sharlene Wills, Gary Wood.
As chair of the ACB Radio Holiday Auction Committee, I thank everyone who worked so hard to make this auction a success. A huge thanks goes to committee vice chair Brian Charlson and members Keri Bishop, Patti Cox, Marlaina Lieberg, Larry Turnbull, and Paula Wiese for their help and support; to the entire Minnesota office for their tireless help with item descriptions, photos, shipping and accounting; to ACB web administrator Annette Carter for posting the auction pages; and to iHeartMedia for the use of their studio. A tremendous thank-you goes to the broadcast team, who handled six hours of on-air time and telephone bidding with only one 10-minute break: Patti Cox and Paula Wiese on the phones; Michael McCarty on air with me, keeping listeners up to date on bidding and buying; Michael McCarty, Jim Fenn, and Angie McCarty getting the live feed out of Louisville to ACB Radio; and Larry Turnbull monitoring the entire operation in Illinois.
The holiday auction committee is looking forward to the 2016 extravaganza, and we hope you are, too.