Merchandise valued at more than $30,000 was auctioned recently at the Merry Acres Inn & Event Center, according to Tara Fitzgibbons, first vice president, Officers’ Spouses’ Club.
The Denim and Diamonds Scholarship and Charity Fundraiser took place to raise money for military dependents, spouses and local non-profit organizations, according to Kara Collins, second vice president, OSC. Before the end of the year, money raised will be awarded to eligible recipients.
Collins stressed scholarships are available to all ranks and military branches on this installation.
To ensure enough money will be available for each recipient, committee members have worked tirelessly since June.
Fitzgibbons said members wanted the event to be as successful in raising money as the previous auctions but wanted to ensure it was a little different this year.
“We wanted to really make it our own,” she said. Some changes included having a live band and a change in venue. The location change enabled the committee to auction a wider variety of items.
“We attempted to contact over 300 locations in person and also mailed more than 150 letters to different businesses soliciting support for this cause,” Fitzgibbons said.
Those efforts paid off with destination packages for Atlanta, Gatlinburg, Charleston and several other locations within 6 hours of the base. The committee was also able to gain donations for travel packages valued at more than $2,000 each to several island destinations.
Additional items up for grabs were local hunts, spa packages, home décor and much more, according to an OSC advertisement.
“We are not auctioning $20 gift certificates,” Fitzgibbons said. “These are things people actually want with a good dollar value.”
Those in attendance displayed a strong desire for the items as many friendly bidding wars took place. During the silent auction, crowds of people hovered over tables waiting for the last possible moment in an effort to place the winning bid.
The live auction ignited excitement as bids came from a number of tables simultaneously. The room repeatedly erupted in applause and cheers as bids surpassed $500 for single items.
“This is so much fun,” Lauren Williamson, a guest at the event said. “This is my first auction with this organization and I will absolutely come back next year.”
The event was successful in providing a great time for those in attendance and raising more than $14,000 dollars in scholarship funds.