On Friday, the First Annual CJSTUF Art Auction took place at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen. It was a ton of work, most of it done by others. The lion's share of my contribution was to secure donations of art and be a cheerleader for the real worker bees of the event, Rachel and Michelle (Alford).
It was a successful evening and the fact that all of our expenses were covered before anyone even walked through the door made anything that came in from the actual auction pure bonus.
The dessert table, wonderfully set by Homemades By Suzanne, included a chocolate fountain (a MUST at any CJSTUF event). Coconut macaroons, strawberries, pineapple, and pound cake were skewered on big toothpicks and dunked in the chocolate and various other delectable chocolaty things were available to "make everything better" (since we know that is definitely the case).
The wine was very good and we are fortunate to know Ian at The Caboose in Ashland who donated it all.
Anthony Williams provided some great guitar music to start things off. Taught him everything I know. OK...maybe not.
Susan Greenbaum was masterful in her role as auctioneer. So masterful, in fact, that John Toscano and I never felt the need to assume our roles as co-emcees. We mostly did our best Vanna White impression and displayed/traded out art pieces as they were auctioned off.
But of all the great things that happened Friday night, I believe my favorite part of the evening was when Deb Price, mother of four including two with Sickle Cell Disease, came to the podium and spoke about their journey. She didn't come to ask for pity or grovel in appreciation. She came to be the face of what we do; to remind everyone in attendance of why they they were there and the reason we keep having fund raisers.
Well spoken and poised, she related Nile's and Olivia's story and the long recovery process involved with SCD and Nile's bone marrow transplant. No one else there could have said it better. We thank her for her candor and appreciate her courage.
The crowd wasn't huge but very generous and with what we've learned from this first event, next year's Art Auction should be quite the shindig! Mark your calendars now (we're not sure when but mark them anyway).
Next up on the docket is the Amazing Raise this week. Starting at 6am October 5, you can help CJSTUF win thousands in matching gifts buy donating just $50. Depending on when you donate, your contribution will count toward any number of contests that could bring us $1,000 to $10,000 above the actual donations!
Here is a list of the separate contests and I'd like to enlist your opinions of what THREE (3) areas we should target to maximize our impact. Please email Roger@cjstuf.org with your top three categories and, as always, spread the word!
Thank you very much,