by Stephanie Biery, Philanthropy Chair
On April 5th, 2019 the AWC Berlin raised over 15,000 euro for our charity JACK Berlin at the sold out inaugural Auction of Talents. This exceeded our goal of 5300 euro by 300%!
The event was held at Prachtwerk in Neukolln, just several km away from JACK’s facility. Members, partners and guests of members were invited to attend. Those that preregistered paid a 20 euro admission for an open bar and snacks along with a very entertaining live auction. Stephanie Biery, Philanthropy Chair, was able to find and secure the venue. John Hasler, owner of Prachtwerk worked with her to make the event affordable and fun for everyone that attended.
The AOT committee began work on the event in January. We were very fortunate to have Deborah Siebrecht on the team. She was a member of the Munich IWC, before coming to Berlin. My-Linh Kunst brought the AOT idea to us from Munich and Deborah had seen it in action. She was able to offer us great insights on how to run the event. She managed our absentee bidding process as well. My-Linh and Maya Guice worked from the templates from the Munich IWC to draft our auction catalog and data entry process for the night of the event. My-Linh also created a beautiful visual presentation of all our live auction offerings. Sydney Beaman joined Maya at the auction as our second data entry pro. Sara Switzman performed magic (with a small budget) to keep everyone full with snacks and appetizers. Belinda Youlten organized our student volunteers and Lissa Rosenbloom set-up and managed our silent auction. Angela Andersen kept us on budget and managed the check-in/check-out process. Janel Schermerhorn, club President, assisted with the final revisions to the catalog and the visual presentation the night of the auction. Janel was our master of ceremonies and My-Linh was the paddle number caller on stage. Janel was also our auctioneer extraordinaire. She auctioned off 40 “experiential” lots including dinners, tours, workshops, theater tickets and outings on boats to enthusiastic guests; closing every live lot with bids, on average, over 100% higher than they opened!
The members were very generous with their donations of experiences, services and items to make this a successful event. Along with member donations, Stephanie was able to secure tickets from the Deutsches Theater, Friedrichstadt Palast and a 12-person private tour of Sammlung Boros. Due to the generous donations from our members and local businesses, there were 280 winning bids for live auction experiences and 33 items and experiences in our silent auction.
120 participants, including three representatives from JACK, enjoyed the evening. We had 32 couples in attendance and 96% of them had at least one winning bid; contributing over 10,000 euro to the night. 42 members came without a partner, 14 single guests attended and we had 6 absentee bidders. Winning bids ranged from 8 euro to 450 euro, with 86 winning bids at 20 euro or lower, and 240 winning bids under 50 euro. There were several lots with open spots after the auction ended. We have continued to sell them post-event. We have also received approximately 800 euro in direct donations for JACK.
The atmosphere of the evening was fun and promoted an opportunity for members to reconnect and to support our charity, JACK Berlin.
Thank you to all our donors and volunteers. In addition to the AoT Committee members mentioned above, we had help on the evening from Jacqueline Routier, Ali Siegert, Diana Groehn, Angela’s husband Thomas Andersen, and a team of students from BBIS, BIS and JFKS. We could not have done this without all of your generous donations of time and talent.