Friday 29 September 2023

Auction 2023: Generosity, love, and a bit of retail therapy

Welcome to the ninth annual #Dominicstrong online auction in support of the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Every year I get stressed about whether we'll have enough items, and every year donors come through.

Every year I worry we won't have enough people to bid on the items. I'm doing it now. And every year, they do. I really should worry less.

This year's auction started off with a bang. I got a call from a fellow I'd known when he wrote a bowling column for the paper. His son, an adult with autism, had grown disinterested in a bike built for two they'd bought, and they wanted to donate it.

Well, it wasn't just any bike built for two. It was a quadricycle that looks more like a golf cart and goes for $3,000 new.

You won't see that item in the auction, as he sold it last week and intends on donating the proceeds.

What you will see is 108 items - a handful of them double items where the top two bidders will win - ranging from handmade cards to a month-long hot tub rental.

Every donation, whether it's in the auction or not, no matter how big or small, helps.

Even though the hospital's operating budget is more than $40 million, I like to think what we're doing matters somehow.

At the very least, it matters because Dominic mattered. And we don't just do it for him. I visited a restaurant in Airdrie this week with a donation box out for a girl with cancer. She's being treated at the same hospital that Dominic was at. I think of the kids we met at Superhero Night this year being treated there. I see a plane take off from the Medicine Hat airport and think of when we flew in one to get to the children's hospital.

We may be a drop in the bucket but over the years we've raised more than $300,000. That's more than a drop. And it happens one bid increase at a time.

So please, take advantage of the great deals to be had this weekend, for sure. But if it's a $50 gift certificate for a place you'd shop at anyhow, consider adding another $5 to your bid because it's a good cause. And know that every person who donated, created, or gave something up did it because they cared.

Thank you, all of you. You make this thing work. You're what keeps us coming back to spend dozens of hours every year putting it together and running it.

The specifics

To be safe, I'm going to post the auction rules here. For those new to the auction, it's run off our Facebook page, #Dominicstrong. On the group you'll see the featured posts, including the long one with the rules and a link to the auction album itself.

Every picture in the album is an item. You bid in the comments! Remember, bidding starts at 5 p.m. Mountain time Friday (Sept. 29) and ends at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1. Any time stamp with 1700 Oct. 1 on it or later is ineligible.

There are starting (minimum) bids for every item, and bids have to be at least $1 higher than the previous high bid.

Once it's all over, we go in, tell the winners they've got 24 hours to pay, then get to the process of delivery/pickup of auction winnings.

My parents are driving in from Calgary and can therefore bring winnings back to the big city for anyone who wants them to. Otherwise, you've got to arrange pickup/delivery with us, at your cost. I'll happily ship something to Turkey, but I ain't paying for it!

In the news

Two of our local media sources have done stories on the auction this year, and of course in Canada right now you can't post news links on Facebook. So here they are!

Children's hospital fundraiser honours memory of local boy (Medicine Hat News, Sept. 26)

Thumbs up: #dominicstrong auction this weekend (CHAT News Today, Sept. 29)

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