Well, I bullied my friend J. to go with me:
I'll be honest, when we pulled up to a very non-descript building, with only a small "non-glamorous" sign depicting where we were, I was a little worried that we'd over dressed for the event. So, we waited in the van until we saw other women in dresses with fancy hair walking in...then we decided it was safe! :)
When we walked in, the room was anything but "non-descript"...it was beautiful, and even had a "red carpet" for that "wanna-be celebrity moment"! :)
The event was to raise money for the wonderful organization that is St. Jude. Did you know that any child treated there never sees a bill?! Amazing. We had a young girl at our table named Ailin that has been told by doctors here in MN that she is out of options. Her family is hoping to get her into St. Jude to see if they can offer them anything more.
Imagine...being 11 years old and being told that there is nothing more that can be done to cure the nasty cancer within you? My heart breaks! I hope and pray they can get better news from St. Jude.
Let's talk for a moment about the fundraising. When they said "silent auction" I was imagining the baskets full of chocolate, wine, embroidered dish towels, etc. that I have seen at countless benefits around our area...well my friends...that wasn't quite how this one worked!
Jared Allen autographed jersey, Kate Spade items, DreamWorks theater posters with a basket full of otherwise unattainable items...let's just say I was a little out of my league! (I did bid on a lululemon package...of which I had the highest bid for approximately 2.1 seconds!) Even the bidding process was different...all computerized!!
And you could follow your items on a website and bid from your smart phone! Crazy.
The best part of the evening was the live auction. A statuesque woman dressed in a column of cream sequins and sporting 13" heels (okay, okay, maybe not quite 13"...but dang close!!) was the auctioneer and auctioned off 3 trips. The first two (Food Network cooking class in NYC and a Hollywood Star Treatment replete with a hair appointment with Jennifer Aniston's stylist) went for $5,000-6,000...impressive, no?
But then...oh my friends, BUT THEN. The auction for the last fly-away started...a trip to NYC Fashion Week with an exclusive behind the scenes experience at Badgley Mischka...$2,000, then $3,000...4, 5, 6...soon it was up to $18,000 and down to two women bidding back and forth. At $19,000 it had slowed...then the auctioneer offered $19,500 and BOOM, bidding was back!
The husband of the other wife called the auctioneer over and they chatted a bit...then she approached the other woman and offered this, "Mike said, if you're willing to go with Berit, he will double the money down." And JUST LIKE THAT a NYC Fashion Week trip brought in $39,000!
It was exhilarating and so exciting to see the generous hearts so willing to offer up money for an amazing cause (and get an amazing trip in return)!!
We scooted out a bit early, both of us had to work early and we had a decent hike to get home...but it was a wonderful experience...and it renewed my admiration for the work that St. Jude does!