“But I’m not an auctioneer,” I told Kendra Violet, Director of Parking Services at the University of Cincinnati, and Drew Corbett, Associate Director of Campus Recreation at Wright State University, at the 2003 Ohio Recreational Sports Association (ORSA) State Workshop held at Wright State University.
“Well we need someone to do it, and we think you’d be great,” was the reply.
For the first time ever, ORSA was embarking on a live auction and somehow I got talked into being the auctioneer—even though I had zero formal training in the matter. It must have gone well because I’m still doing it. Or maybe (and more likely) they couldn’t find anyone else.
Fast forward to the 2010 NIRSA Annual Conference in Anaheim. My auctioneering “experience” came in handy when Suzi Smith, member of the NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors, recruited me to auction the NIRSA Foundation T-Shirt Quilt at the All-Conference Social at an unbelievable venue called The Grove. As I have done for the last 15 years, I winged it. We conducted a live interview with that year’s quilt creator, Roy Easley, on stage and the auction went very well. Or maybe it didn’t. We set a record but I was never asked to do it again. Suzi and others on the NIRSA Foundation Board members cite “rules and regulations.” I guess I’ll take them at their word.
Through my 25 or so years in NIRSA, I have learned of “The power of the quilt” or, more accurately, “The power of our NIRSA family’s generosity.” Over the years at the Annual Conference, the quilt has been awarded in several ways, but be it by raffle or auction or some other method, the constant is the generosity of all of you. And if you doubt the impact it has, just take a look at all of the students and other NIRSA members the NIRSA Foundation has been able to help over the years through all of its fundraising initiatives. The NIRSA Foundation couldn’t do any of it without the help from all their donors and corporate supporters.
They’re asking for your help again. This year, the quilt will be auctioned off in an online silent auction! The auction opens on Rec Day, February 22 and will close at 1:00pm on Wednesday, March 7. The winning bid will be announced at the Closing General Session at the 2018 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec & Wellness Expo. Once again, the one and only Mama Lee Wasson has transformed last year’s winning T-shirt designs into the quilt. That in and of itself should be enough to get you to bid. And while we’re at it, let’s set a record! We’re aiming high: $3,000!
“The power of the quilt” has allowed countless students to attend conferences and preconference workshops. The “power of the quilt” has reinforced the fact that our NIRSA family is one of a kind. “The power of the quilt” has shown how the power of generosity can pay forward and impact the young members of our association.
So please take some time before getting to Denver (and while you’re there) and take a look. Thank you!
- For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Philanthropy Kim Holmes.