Throughout the year, ServNet auctions take a break from the business of bringing buyers and sellers together in the auction lane to focus on those needing a helping hand. The causes are as varied as the auctions themselves: from benefits for orphans and the homeless to help for children with medical needs and veterans injured in the line of duty. Benefiting local, national, even global charities, auction owners, employees, and their customers open their hearts and their pockets at fund-raising efforts across the country.
"The fund-raising events held at ServNet auctions vary in size and scope," says ServNet President R. Charles Nichols. "Some benefit high profile charities, while others are focused on efforts that are close to home. But they are all spurred by the generosity of the auction's owners, employees and customers and their desire to help."
Honoring and Assisting Veterans
Carolina Auto Auction has instituted an annual Support the Troops Campaign to benefit members of the United States Armed Forces who have suffered injuries during their combat efforts, explains Tommy Rogers, Carolina Auto Auction's general manager. The auction's most recent efforts took place in May, when the auction and its customers raised more than $5,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. Veterans from among the auctions staff and customers were honored during a ceremony in remembrance of Memorial Day, highlighted by an honor guard from the NJROTC from nearby T.L. Hanna High School.
The 3rd annual Charity Auction at DAA of the Rockies, set for July 18th, will also focus on veterans in its community who have fought to protect our freedoms, reports Michele Noblitt, auction executive vice president. The proceeds from this year's event will benefit Help Out Not Hands Out (HONHO), a new Colorado charity that helps veterans with job placement and financial assistance. Taking the podium as the celebrity auctioneer for this year's charity event will be Dean Gunter of Mile High Car Company. A long-time customer at DAA Rockies who is normally found in the auction lanes buying vehicles, Gunter graduated from auctioneering school two years ago and enjoys calling bids at charity events throughout the area.
"We are honored to partner this year with Help Out Not Hand Outs for our Charity Auction Auction," said Noblitt. "We know there are many veterans among our customers and staff, and we wanted to give back to those who have done so much for us and our country."
Help for the Homeless
With a year-long program to raise funds for local charities, KCI Kansas City held its first KCI Cares Charity Sale on May 9th to benefit Sheffield Place, an organization that empowers homeless mothers and their children.Timed to coincide with Mother's Day in May, the event raised funds through a silent auction, customer contributions, and adonation by the auction of $5 for every vehicle sold at that day's auction. At day'send, KCI Kansas City's staff and customers raised $13,000 and donated over 500 pounds of non-perishable food and hygiene items to Sheffield Place.
"The amount of money raised during the first charity sale was more than double what w raised last year, said Doug Doll, co-owner of KCI Kansas City. "I think we are well on our way to raising $150,000 this year."
Reaching out to Local Organizations
Following Brasher Idaho Auto Auction's Smoker Sale in June, when auction customers square off in the boxing ring, owner Doug Brasher will make his way to the ring for the Last Man Standing event when members of the industry will drop their gloves and come together to raise money for several charities, including Idaho Food Bank and Juvenile Diabetes research. Since instituting the event four years ago, the auction community has raised more than $160,000 for charity, a number that promises to grow exponentially at the 2013 event on June 20th in Boise.
Flint Auto Auction's charity efforts also benefit a local organization: The Boys and Girls Club of Flint, Michigan. During multiple fund-raising efforts throughout the year, the auction contributes more than $25,000 annually. Included in those funds is the money raised at the customer dinner held in conjunction with auction's annual Corvettes and Classics Sale in April.
Later in the year Missouri Auto Auction will hold a charity event for Coyote Hill a local group assisting underprivileged children from troubled families. The group has five homes where children are placed in a family setting with home parents, explains auction owner Kevin Brown who also chairs the Board for the organization: "We're very passionate about Coyote Hill here at Missouri auto Auction, and support its efforts to make these children's lives consistent, family-oriented, loving and founded on Christian beliefs." The auction supports the Coyote Hill golf tournament and dinner auction, in addition to the charity sale at the auction in November.
State Line Auto Auction holds its Major Motion Charity Auction in December. Prior to its regular weekly sale, powersports equipment, pedal cars and special memorabilia are offered to the highest bidders in the crowd. Proceeds benefit the Salvation Army and its local Christmas is for Kids program.
Extending a Hand to Auction Families
Still other fund-raising efforts hit very close to home at ServNet auctions, as funds are raised to assist family members of auction personnel and customers. Jim DesRochers reports that the owners and employees DAA of the Southwest have come together to help two members of the auction staff, whose 5-year-old daughter suffers from bone cancer. "We have a variety of activities planned to help Ally and her parents through the process of chemotherapy and the surgery that will be required," said DesRochers. "In addition to raffles and fund-raising activities to help defray medical costs, the auction employees are reaching out to help the family at home, providing babysitting and other services."
Brasher's Sacramento Auto Auction holds an annual golf tournament to benefit a local charity affiliated with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a group that is dear to the heart of long-time customer Mat Rossman, who lost his wife to M/S several years ago, and formed Terry's Closet in her memory to help other people with M/S. Thousands of dollars have been raised over the past two years in conjunction with the annual golf tournament, supplying medical equipment for M/S patients as well as funding research.
Brasher's Portland and Brasher's Northwest Auto Auction are joint sponsors of two important golf tournaments to benefit children. Every Fall, the both auctions sponsor a golf tournament to benefit Katie's Kause, providing the families of children with Cystic Fibrosis with financial and emotional support. The Spring Golf Tournament, in turn, directly benefits one of the auction family's own: Natasha Melton, the 13-year old daughter of Mark Melton, general manager at Brasher's Northwest Auto Auction who works to overcome the effects of spina bifida.
"The costs associated with spina bifida are staggering, and for the past seven years Natasha has allowed us to hold a golf tournament in her honor and for her benefit," says Jerry Hinton, general manager at Brasher's Portland Auto Auction. "Every year we are amazed by the generosity of our vendors, customers and friends and friends who have helped Natasha and her family, and it is a tremendous experience for all of us to take part." This year's tournament and the "Natasha" Benefit auction that concluded the day's activities raised a total of $30,450 to help defray her medical expenses. Hinton estimates that the event has raised in excess of $140,000 since the first benefit was held in 2007.
In the October Brasher's Northwest A/A also holds a charity auction to benefit St. Jude's Hospital. Meanwhile, the high point of the holiday season for customers at Brasher's Portland Auto Auction is the annual toy drive held in conjunction with a local television station. Week after week in December, toys donated by customers and staff fill the auction lobby before they are moved by the truckload to the TV station.
Serving the Greater Community
Like so many ServNet auctions, DAA Northwest is active within its community and supports several non-profit organizations throughout the year, including the Spokane Guilds School, Coaches vs. Cancer, 2nd Harvest FoodBank, the Emporia Community Foundation, Olive Crest, the Greg Biffle Foundation and more. But its largest organized fundraising effort occurs in conjunction with its Anniversary Sale, held every year in November.. Beneficiaries include The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Young Life of the Inland Northwest, Union Gospel Mission of Spokane and Spring of Hope International. The auction matches all funds raised at the charity auction, and employees and customers also contribute canned food, clothing, blankets and other needed household items. Additionally, in 2012, DAA's employees pitched in to sponsor two African children through Spring of Hope International.
Quoting from the auction's mission statement, Mitzi VanVoorhis, auction marketing manager says : "…our success allows us to serve the greater community. DAA Northwest's Anniversary Fundraiser now reaches across the community at large, from Spokane, Washington to Adiedo, Kenya and beyond."