The Charity Auction: I Was Only There to Watch . . .

When the Daily Dragon assigned me to cover the Charity Auction, I figured I’d sit back and enjoy the show.  Then the event horizon sucked me in.

This year, the proceeds will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  The process ran smoothly thanks to the efforts of Jerry and Karen Coxwell.  Professional auctioneers Marc B. Lee and Michael Hanley entertained the crowd with wit and fast-talk.

Kevin Sorbo, from Hercules and Andromeda, hosted the first hour of the auction with his charming presence and a boatload of great items from T-shirts and posters to one-of-a-kind treasures.  When I asked for his comments, he said the event is always a fun time and he enjoys bringing treats from his stash; some harder to part with than others.  He particularly appreciated the architectural drawings of sets and props from the show.  The four that he donated fetched from $100 to $260.  A gracious man, he was genuinely thankful when the organizers presented him with a thank-you plaque.

From 12 until 2PM, Lee and Hanley traded auctioneering duties.  At times they varied the style of the bidding, utilizing Dutch-style and reverse-style techniques.  When the first pirate item appeared, the crowd yelled “Argh!” in buccaneer fashion.  The cheer became the running joke for each brigand-item that popped up on the block.

Claire Kramer from Bring It On and Buffy, hosted from 2 until 3PM, helping to reanimate the tired audience.  She dove into her role, starting the bidding and encouraging the crowd to dig deeper into their pockets.  The highlight for her was the 1898 L’Estampe print that I had the honor of winning for far less than its posted worth.

As the items dwindled, a huge, hand-sewn Colonial Flag signed by James Callis, Aaron Douglas, Richard Hatch, Tamoh Penikett, and Kate Vernon, all from the new Battlestar Galactica, appeared.  Being an avid BSG fan, my interest piqued.  When Hanley opened the bidding at $250, I jumped in.  Several fans joined in the contest, but soon only two of us battled for the prize.  Twice, I almost withdrew, once at $400 and again at $700.  But it’s all for a good cause, and with Lee reminding me that it was such a rare item, I set the day’s record winning with a $725 bid.

The auction rocked!

Reporter Suzanne Church with her new BSG flag

[Editor’s Note: If you missed the auction, you can still bid on cool items.  A silent auction of late donations and remaining items will be held on Mon 9AM-Noon, Charity Events Booth (Marriott).]

Author of the article

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.