By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News
On Saturday, May 9, the Tulalip Resort Casino (TRC) will host the 17th annual auction to benefit the Tulalip Boy & Girls Club. The theme of this year’s auction is ‘Seahawks’, to coincide with all the excitement and bravado that is generated by the faithful Northwest locals who have turned the 12th Man into a nationally recognized experience. Expectations are that this year’s auction will be most magnificent to date, in both setting a new standard for the setup and decorum of the event, as well as raising a new record amount of funds.
The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club is unique, in that it is one of only twenty Boys & Girls Clubs in the entire country that is located on a Native American reservation. The Club is totally devoted to serving the needs of the Tulalip youth and their community.
“The money we raise at this auction goes 100% to the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. It doesn’t go to the county clubs. While we fall under the umbrella of the Snohomish County club system, all the funding that we do goes specifically to the Tulalip club and the Tulalip kids. It really is 100% for the Tulalip kids,” explains Sam Askew, TRC General Manger and co-chair of the annual action. “During the auction we have all these different components, but there is a specific area called Kid’s Café that takes place in the middle and all the monies we raise for that are specifically used for feeding the kids, buying groceries for the meals and snacks provided for the kids. This year we hope to raise $35,000, which would be a record amount. Last year, we broke the previous record by $7,000 and I’m hopeful we can again break the record this year.”
This year’s auction has filled all available tables to capacity. There will be 630 attendees, which a record high of auction participants.
“The nice thing for us is while we’ve reached our capacity in space, we haven’t reached our capacity in terms of raising funds,” continues Askew. “We have added the use of the BidPal system this year, so if you aren’t able to attend the auction in person you can still bid on items from home or even donate. An example is my mom who lives out on Camano Island and doesn’t get out very often, she’ll be able to go online and donate to the auction. So now we’ve expanded our capacity to raise funds from just the 630 attendees to thousands of online participants, in theory, through the use of BidPal.”
BidPal is a technology company on a mission to help non-profits across the country feed the hungry, fight cancer, promote the arts, educate young people, and everything in between. BidPal is firmly committed to helping non-profits, like the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club’s annual auction, use technology to acquire new donors, engage their donors and communicate their messages. For the purpose of this year’s auction, BidPal will be used an app for people’s cell phones and as a dedicated website to further expand the capacity for raising funds for the Club.
“We got a dedicated website this year with the help of TDS. It’s called Tulalipkids.com,” says Askew. “If you go to Tulalipkids.com it will bring up our giving center where you can register to bid on items, you can donate, you can donate items for auction, and you can even donate to the Kid’s Café, so Tulalipkids.com is a great site for us. We’ll continue to have a website as the auction continues year by year.
“This year we are doing something pretty neat with the layout too. We’ve always done something new and excited to create more buzz around the auction. This year we are going to tier the Orca ballroom for the first time ever. We are bringing in platform tiers and so people will be able to rise up a little bit. We’ll have one-third of the audience at one level, one-third at a higher level, and remaining one-third on the main level. This tiered seating will allow everyone to see and participate in the auction very clearly this year. Marie Zackuse and Natasha Gobin will be saying the blessing and prayer before the auction begins. We’ll also have the language warriors there, so some young language warriors will be able to participate. While they won’t be part of the auction after that component, we have a great volunteer room, so the kids will be able to eat pizza and spaghetti and have a great time to participate that way as well.”
Because everyone gets excited about the Seahawks, having the Orca Ballroom themed out in Seahawks colors was a no-brainer. Even the center pieces will be decked out for the purpose, as they’ll be candy jars etched with the logo and filled with skittles and sugar sticks that are blue and green. Plus, there will be quite a few Seahawks related items in the auction; a Marshawn Lynch signed helmet and football, a Russell Wilson signed jersey, to name a few. There will be videos playing during the auction of Seahawk highlights to really get the auction attendees excited to bid on Seahawks related items.
“You’ll see during the auction that we really will be playing off the excitement that the Seahawks bring to our community. There will be very strong reminders that motivate the attendees to spend for certain items. Part of the benefit of being at a live auction and people bidding is excitement,” says Askew. “Our theme plays off that as well; the colors, the tone and the sounds are all part of that, the way people speak is part of it. We are really excited about the Seahawks theme this year.”
Contact Micheal Rios, firstname.lastname@example.org