The Thankful Project… Day 22 (2013)

11/22 Prompt: an expectation

Each and every year, my favorite day rolls around.

And… as much as I love MY birthday, that is not the day I am referring to.

My favorite day of the year rolls around in November and has been rolling around each and every year since before I was born.  The School of Promise celebrated its 40th year in 2012.  Each year, our community holds an auction.  Not a silent auction… the real deal.  A live auction of goods (new and old), services (gift certificates) and crafts/foods (yum yum) is held following a roast beef, salad and pie feast. 

Over the years, as I was growing up, we would go to the sale each and every year.  My dad is one of the auctioneers and one of our family friends was a founder of the school and a major supporter of the auction and lunch.  When I was little, I would help hold the items in the air as the auctioneers took bids from the many people who return to the sale year after year in support of the amazing School of Promise.  A free program for children with special needs in our community.  The school is funded primarily using the donations from the auction and others that come throughout the year.  Some special services are paid for through the federal laws that help with education but the main source of funding is the hearts of our community.

I am 40 years old and I moved away for a few years to attend college and live life ‘away’ from the area but I can still count on my two hands the number of auctions I missed over the years (I think… they don’t have an attendance record but it is pretty close). 

My favorite thing about the auction is the outpouring of support that is given and seeing the faces of the ‘regulars’ each year.  New traditions, old traditions, funny stories of husbands out-bidding wives.  Small children bidding for items and parents nodding in the background to say yes or quickly pulling their hand down and shaking their head no. 

My family continues to be ‘regulars’ at the event.  My girls and I talk about it and they wonder when it will be happening again. 

Last year, the girls started a new tradition.  They ‘made’ something that they could take to the auction.  Last year the two older girls each painted a picture. We framed and sold them separately (thus fetching a higher price for the pair – sold to Grandma Wanda and Papa Chuck).  This year, they painted ornaments and decorated a “Tree of Many Colors” and sold the tree as an original piece of art by the Welch Girls.  The girls and I had a great time making the decorations.  They were quite proud of the project and stood tall when it was sold to the highest bidder… (Papa and Nana).

I have come to expect so much from the day and have even warned members of my family that if they cause any wrinkles in my day by fighting or any other discourse I would be very disappointed and sad. 

Celebrating the best day of the year with my family is the kickoff to the holiday season for me and I expect it will be for many years to come.  I hope to teach my girls how important it is for us to do something bigger than ourselves for the School of Promise because while it is a big red building on the outside… what it does for so many kids in our community year after year on the inside is what really counts. 

Scenes from this years auction.


High School students volunteer each year to help with the meal and with larger items during the auction. IMG_3614

Daughter of a member of the School of Promise Board.  She LOVED helping throughout the day.


One of the generous supporters and her family.


My dad… doing what he does best.


The Tree of Many Colors… Emma and her friend Ellie on stage as it is sold by one of the voluneers.  Chad helps each year as a bid caller.  He does a great job… even though it is on a Sunday and usually a HUGE football day.


Pie anyone?  There are usually a few pies left at the end and are sold at auction.  We were fortunate enough to get a key lime pie and Sophia and Olivia had to dig in before we got home.


And one of our friends as she holds up and displays a smile to get a bigger bid!


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