Fred Hulting and Karen Hulting, Auction Co-Chairs
The purpose of our annual auction is to create a fun, community-building event for our members and friends, and to raise money for the UUCM general fund. Once again, the 2020 Auction succeeded on both counts.
This year we celebrated with the theme of “Maskerade” as we converted to an all virtual event with an online silent auction and Zoom live auction. We had 71 winning bidders and nearly 100 people attended the live event. Together we raised nearly $22,000 for the church.
This year’s auction team was really innovative in figuring out how to respond to the COVID closures, and all of our donors and bidders jumped right it to help make it all work. We were all determined to make this long-running church tradition happen, despite the challenges of the pandemic. For this, we are very thankful, and there are many people that need to be recognized for their contributions.
First of all, a huge thank you to Karen Zais for envisioning a live event like no other we have seen and for rallying all of the talent to make it happen. And we could not have executed this event without the awesome (and patient) technical leadership of Jason Brechin.
The live event showcased some of the great talent at UUCM. Jeffrey Hatcher was very generous in writing and directing the serial skit “Jimmy, We Hardly Knew Ye”, which premiered at the auction. Did you miss it? Saw it at the event and wish you could see it again? Well Jeff is allowing us to offer recordings of the play. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a download for a $50 donation to UUCM. The play was performed by Jeffrey Greenwood, Sylvia Greenwood, Rosa Greenwood, Melinda Bennett, Carly Nelson, Stacy Doepner-Hove, Nicolas Doepner-Hove, Kathy Stuebner and Michael Myers.
In addition to the play, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders Public Service Announcements” were written and performed by MaryAnn Wiborg, and “Bad Dad Jokes” were curated and performed by Noel Martinson and Bill Arnold. Live music lyrics were written and performed by Brian Zais with apologies to the original composers. Opening and closing musical numbers were performed by Sam Brandt and Brian Zais.
Marc Doepner-Hove was back this year as our Auctioneer extraordinaire, with Stacy and Nicolas Doepner-Hove providing a 2nd and 3rd set of eyes to scan the Zoom screens for live bids. Technical support and crowd rousing delivered by Janna Sundby. We played some spirited games of Bingo at the auction, and each winning card raised $20 for the church. Thank you to the “Boomer Zoomers” (Noel & Melissa Martinson, Janna & Steve Sundby, Jackie & Steve Zimmerman, and Ben & Shelley Kyriagis) for providing the $1000 make that happen.
Many others helped out in recruiting donors, checking the website, and making deliveries: Lori Arnold, Mary Cotton, Jackie Smolen, Stef Bell-Egge, Bill and Sue McKnight, and Lee Kaster. The Auction logo was created by Eric Hulting.
And, of course, thank you to all of our generous donors and bidders – the auction simply would not be an auction without you.
Who knows what 2021 will bring, but next year we hope to be back in the building. Still, we do not think the auction will ever look the same. There is a lot of enthusiasm for continuing the silent auction online, and you can expect live entertainment to be a part of the in-person auction in the future as well. Stay tuned. And thank you.