Thursday, February 26, 2009

Auction Anxiety

Last night Torrey and I attended Leavenworth's Annual Chamber Auction, a great fund-raising event for our local Chamber of Commerce. I was recently elected to the Chamber Board, so this year I felt particularly "motivated" to do some serious bidding. Maybe a little too motivated...

We arrived early to check out the scene, and get aquanted with the evening's host, John Curley, who is by far one of the best auctioneers I have seen (despite the fact that he forgot to take home the Mapel bag full of goodies I had prepared for him - what's up with that John?!). He has this great way of making you want to spend more $$$ just by making jokes about you to the rest of the audience as you raise your bidding card. More about that later....

The evening began with the silent auction, in which Torrey and I made our way around the room, checking out various items - from Walmart gift certificates to Cheesemongers gift baskets. We got caught up in the excitement of bidding on some good deals, and started placing silent bids all over the place, assuming we would be outbid as the evening progressed. We had not really factored in "current economic conditions" (am I the only one completely sick of hearing this phrase???), and as the bidding tables closed, we soon realized that we were going home with a lot of $#?+!

But we didn't stop there....oh no - the LIVE auction was where the excitement and anxiety really grew. The butterflies in my tummy (along with the baby) were constant reminders of my nervous excitment about the live auction. This was Mapel's first year participating in the Live Auction - we donated a $250 shopping spree, and outfitted 2 local "models" to strut their stuff on the Bavarian catwalk. I kept wondering what would happen if no one bid on our item, or if the bidding was so low that I would have to sneak out the back door before the evening was over. To my great relief, Mapel's shopping spree generated a lot of excitment on the bidding floor and ended up selling for more than the $250 value.

I thought I would be able to relax after Mapel's item was auctioned off, but Torrey and I had some serious bidding to do. During the live dessert auction, we bought a lemon lover's cake for $40. Who would have thought the day would come when you could buy an entire lemon cake for only $40 (I stole that joke from my buddy John) Well, mama was craving lemon, so Torrey came through for me on that one.

Next up was the HOT ITEM of the evening - dinner for 10 at the Mayor's house. Me and my "posse" of youthful Leavenworth community members were determined to have dinner/drinks with Mayor Rob no matter what the cost....Torrey was in charge of the bidding for this item and it got INTENSE. We weren't the only ones hoping to wine and dine with the all-powerful of Leavenworth, so the pressure was on. As John openly questioned Torrey about what a young guy with a trendy haircut (huh?) could possibly want to talk to the mayor about, the bidding continued....And thanks to the generous contributions of the fabulous Miss Rebecca Wadkins, our group ended up with the prize! So stay tuned this summer for a follow-up blog featuring pictures and details from our dinner at the mayor's house....

All in all, it was a successful evening for the Chamber, and Torrey and I ended up with a lot of fun items. Once back at home, we had to decompress, take some blood pressure medication, and start planning on what to bid on at next year's auction....(the collection of 108 bottles of local wine is currently at the TOP of our list)

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