Last night Jeff and I did a volunteer shift for the 'Art Inspires Hope' event. It is an event that raises money for Camp Okizu, which is a camp for kids with cancer, their siblings and their families. My company is a corporate sponsor and they needed some volunteers, so we thought we could lend a hand. It's a super fancy dinner/concert/auction. Huey Lewis was the entertainment, but we only got to sneak a quick look since we were there to work. Eh, he looks and sounds the same as I remember from TV. :-)
We arrived at the event around 5:45 to get our instructions and the action didn't really start until about 7:00. At that point we went to work moving tables, artwork, props, etc. and setting up the checkout stations where the patrons would come to pay for their purchases or to make donations to send kids to camp. Jeff and I were 'runners.' Our job was to wait until the customer paid for their items then we would check the item number and run back to get the item for them. Also, we would help them to their car if necessary. And definitely thank them for coming...thank them a LOT.
While we were setting up we could hear the live auction going on and it was pretty amazing to hear some of the prices. A ladies diamond watch, and it must have been some watch, sold for $19k. A trip to Spain for the America's cup, including a ride on the BMW racing yacht during the race, went for $13,500. And there were a whole bunch of people who donated money to send kids to camp. It was pretty interesting to see the people checking out as well. They were people just like us....except you know...they have a lot of money. One guy had bought an $8500 piece of art and donated $1000 to send a kid to camp. "Just round it up to $10,000" he says casually. Yeah, definitely a whole different mind set. :-)
Anyway, it was a fun night for a great cause and we'd probably do it again. I'd say definitely do it again, except for the fact that we almost turned into pumpkins. We didn't get home until almost 1 am, and with the time change that's 2am!! Way past our bedtime. We haven't heard the final tally on how well the event did, but the coordinator told us they usually get 20% of their operating budget from this event. Hopefully our small contribution made at least a tiny difference for some very sick kids.