2013-hope-auctionFundraising events are often about much more than simply raising money for a worthy cause. After all, why would donors attend if all they were doing was writing a check? These events can serve as a celebration, a commemoration, an opportunity to spread awareness, a chance to strengthen the connection with supporters. And the most successful events usually find a way to put the “fun” in “fundraiser,” including offering attendees the chance to win amazing prizes like wine baskets or even Alaska Airlines tickets.

Auctions, both silent and live, are a popular pick for fundraising events. It’s with good reason. Everyone comes out a winner in a charity auction. Money is raised for an important cause. Supporters have the opportunity to purchase exciting items and packages, some that aren’t available anywhere else. And those who donate to the auction get the chance to introduce their products and/or services to a new audience. It’s a win for everyone (unless you don’t bid high enough, of course).

The Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund has had great success with auctions at quite a few of our fundraisers. Most recently, the 2013 Hope for Firefighters event hosted a silent auction alongside a raffle. While both were successful, the silent auction in particular drew plenty of attention for its great range of items. From collections of kids’ items to vacation packages, there was something for everyone. And at the end of the day, every single auction item had found a bidder or three.

It’s not only donors and supporters who take advantage of all the fun that auctions have to offer. Quite often, the event volunteers also indulge in a bit of bidding for a good cause. Henry Hsieh, a Firefighter/Paramedic who has been with the LAFD for nine years, has participated in the last few Hope for Firefighter auctions. “The bidding process was fun and exciting… just sign your name and amount,” he said. “It’s amazing to see all those corporations supporting firefighters and donating all those wonderful prizes. It’s great knowing all the monies generated… will go directly to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.”

The cause is an important one to firefighters like Hsieh. He said, “It’s very comforting knowing members of the LAFD have [the charity] to support them and their families in their time of need. It’s a great organization and an invaluable resource and asset.” Supporting Widows & Orphans may have been the motivating factor for auction participants, but winning fantastic auction items is certainly the icing on the cake. “I’m definitely excited about all the items, especially the airline tickets from Alaska Airlines,” he said, “Two roundtrip tickets with no blackout dates!”

For those who missed this year’s Hope for Firefighters but would like to participate in future auctions to benefit Widows & Orphans, the next opportunity will be at the annual LAFD Invitational golf tournament. A Dinner-Only ticket is available for those who are interested in participating in the auction but do not wish to golf. Donations are also being accepted for auction packages–items such as vacations, adventure experiences, and alcohol gift baskets are always needed. To donate items for auction, email Jody Houser or call her at (323) 259-5216. More information about attending as a donor or sponsor can be found at wodff.org/golf-sponsorship-levels.

By Jody Houser