When we announced the online auction would take place for the sixth year in a row, we figured it would wind up roughly half the size as the previous ones.
Are we ever glad to be wrong.
In the span of five-and-a-half weeks, we've racked up 107 items for the #Dominicstrong auction benefitting the Alberta Children's Hospital via Extra Life. Time and time again we've been amazed at the generosity of our community.
A friend from an online community we belong to said she'd give a piece of art, then added a foosball table, toy set and air hockey. Another I knew from when she coached and I reported came through with a massive item including a skateboard with two thumbs-up's on it. So many of the longtime contributors to the auction not only said yes again, but in some cases went above and beyond what they usually give.
And that's no slag on anyone who said no. No is what we expected to hear, and for good reason. "Keep us on the asking list for next year," said a few, realizing they simply can't afford handouts right now but still want to support the cause. We'd decided prior to the auction that we will re-ask anyone from 2019 in 2021 anyhow.
A couple we didn't initially ask were the Medicine Hat College Rattlers and Medicine Hat Mavericks. With sports seasons completely cancelled, we just didn't think they'd be in a position to offer anything. But alas, when we did ask, they figured something out.
This year's auction has a bit of everything. From masks to games, jewellery to axe throwing, food and golf, the hope is lots of you see something you like and bid on it. Most important, don't keep the auction to yourself! The more bidders we get, the more money we raise for the hospital. There's no chance we'll meet the $10,000 mark we have the past few years, but every penny helps.
It's all a great reminder that our community is strong, and generous. In the six years it has run, the total amount donated through the auction is $48,116. It's a lot of work but clearly worth it - it's how we parent our son who's not here anymore.
How do you share the auction? This blog post is a good place to start. So, too is the story Chris Brown put together for CHAT News (https://chatnewstoday.ca/2020/09/22/dominicstrong-auction-keeps-dominic-rooneys-legacy-alive). As for direct links, here's the one to the auction album itself (https://www.facebook.com/media/set?set=oa.242004390576370&type=3), though keep in mind that in order to bid you have to actually join the group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dominicstrong) first.
We do have one extra surprise in store - whoever winds up buying the most auction items will get a special custom-made bag with Natalie Long's word art on it! Bailey Stralia did the bag for us out of the blue, while she was working on some facemasks which are a story on their own: Trish's mom Anne made the masks in Calgary, then Bailey added thumbs-up and hashtag art onto them, then she made pouches with more art to store them in! If that wasn't enough, Eva from St. Albert shipped us ear savers she crocheted for the project.
A lot of things came together for this, and it was made even tougher in the last week when Trish, Samantha and I all came down sick. We had to be tested for COVID but fortunately got the news Thursday night that we're all negative. The auction was never in danger, it's just been a lot of work to get it all up and running!
We hope you have fun, and remember that bidding ends Sunday at 5 p.m. Mountain time.