Going Once.....Going Twice.....Sold!

     
 

Mark Zilis and Ross Johnson get the auction rolling

  Tom Micheletti and Mike Shadrack examine a donation  
    The 2011 AHS Live Auction was another great success bringing in a much-needed $20,144. It was a lot of fun for everybody too! We want to thank all of the many generous donors and bidders for all that they contributed, and all who helped make the auction work.

AUCTION AWARDS:

Outstanding Auction Contributor
Walters Gardens
 
Top Choice Donation
'Foxfire Palm Sunday'
Donated by Silvers/Elbert Nursery
 
Donation of Distinction
None
 
Meritorious Donation
None
   
    Bob Solberg spots a bid  
     
    Kim Larsen takes a turn as auctioneer  
The 2010 Convention Auction is Successful Once Again
Ross Johnson   Chaska, Minnesota
   As the Convention Auction Chair and the Minnesota Auction Chair this year, I was pulling double duty at the 2010 convention. A great big thank you goes out to all of the donors, who year after year make me look like I know what I am doing. My own goal is to try to bring in over $20,000 each year, and we were successful once again in reaching that goal.
   At the 2009 convention in Michigan we had what the auction faithful called breeder overload. It seemed like every other plant was streaked. There were quite a few that fetched some lofty bids and made a good chunk of money for the A.H.S.

Ross hard at work logging donations

   This year was a creature of a different sort. We did not have even one plant pull in $500.00 to reach the threshold for a donor award, but we did have a lot, and I mean a lot, of very good plants that pushed us to a very successful auction for the society. The plant receiving the highest bid was H. ‘ ‘Foxfire Palm Sunday’ OS, donated by Silvers/Elbert Nursery, that brought in a bid of $450.00.  
   Each year it seems most of the credit is given to the Live Auction for the dollars raised, but we would be remiss if we were to forget the Live Auction’s little stepsisters - the Silent Auctions. As people have become so generous with their donations that it would take all day to auction them off one at a time from the podium, we need to offer a good many of the donations from our Silent Auction tables. With around 500 donations and only about 150 able to be auctioned to keep the time reasonable for the live auction, there are a great deal of plants and other donations that go through the silent auctions.
   We are blessed with so many generous donors that we are forced to make some tough choices as to the point of sale. This year we tried to spread the wealth a little and include some more high profile donations on the silent auctions, as well as the live auction. We will never know if this is beneficial for the final dollar amount. Money aside, it does reward those vigilant hostaholics who will stay up late and endure the wait time to see if their bids will take the prize. Having hostatality running in conjunction softens the blow, so to speak.
   One change this year that streamlined the live auction was having the cashiers in a separate location to avoid the confusion of trying to hear the bid amounts and bidder numbers. Having a clerk take down the information and a runner relay data to the cashiers really reduced the stress on our end. It still seems we could do a better job with spotting bidders. We had the thought to make some bright colored hand- held signs, but in our planning we did not think it was necessary. The suggestion will be passed on to future conventions, as there were a few bidders that had a plant get away when their attempt to bid was not recognized. Please accept my apology if you were one that was denied. 
   I am always trying to improve the receiving of material and to streamline the auction process. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to pass on your ideas. I look forward to another great auction again in 2011.