The parish auction is an annual fundraising event for the parish. The money raised is used for operating expenses of the parish. It is also an great social event for the community, as parishioners, family, and friends come together for an evening of fun.
The auction was started in 1994 by Father Galen Long. It has evolved and grown ever since. The auction committee is made up of parishioners who, generally, commit to a three year term. Couples are encouraged to take an active role on the committee, but it is open to anyone who would like to participate. Although there is a lot work involved, the burden is shared by the committee members making it a fun event in which to participate. An added attraction of being a committee member is the bonding that takes place between the committee members. A chairperson (often a couple) is selected from the committee to spearhead the planning of the auction. Usually, this is a one year commitment.
An auction theme is voted on by the auction committee. A theme "logo" is created and used on posters, advertisements, and auction tickets. Items are donated by businesses and parish members and organized into silent auction items and oral auction items. Letters are sent out to businesses informing them of the upcoming auction and giving them an opportunity to donated to the auction and to advertised in the auction booklet. Committee members follow up with a personal contact to the businesses. Cash donations are welcomed.
As items come in they are given a item number and cataloged. Items are eventually "packaged" into auction items for bidding and assigned to the oral auction or a silent auction table. Smaller items may be "packaged" with other items forming an auction item. The goal of the auction committee is to maximize the amount of money received by strategically creating auction items and placing auction items in either the oral or silent auction.
To attend the auction, potential bidders buy an auction ticket, which includes a meal. Currently, a auction ticket costs $40. After a set deadline, a few weeks before the auction, tickets go up to $50. The auction ticket has the bidder number printed on the back. Each bidder also receives an auction booklet that includes general information pertaining to the auction, advertisements, and auction items, broken down into oral auction items and silence auction items group by tables. Each silent auction table is given a name that goes along with the theme of the auction.
On the day of the auction, the 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening Mass is celebrated at 4:00 p.m., giving people the opportunity to attend Mass and go to the auction; doors open at 5:00 p.m. The meal is served at 6:30 p.m. Silent auction tables are periodically closed. Once all of the silent auction tables are closed, the oral auction follows at 8:00 p.m.