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Old Wisdom + New Blood Rock The Auction Block

OAKHURST – With about 160 glammed-up givers in attendance on Saturday, May 2, the 30th Annual Elegant Auction to benefit the Oakhurst Community Park was deemed an absolute success by organizers and guests alike, with more than $46,000 in revenue received, and still counting.

“The event was a huge success this year thanks to old wisdom and new blood,” says committee chairman Andrew Pence. “The auction was crowded with first time attendees, but the real magic was done behind the scenes.”

Pence is referring to the nearly countless hours of time spent by dedicated volunteers pulling this big, beautiful event together.

Click on images to enlarge. Photos by Virginia Lazar.

Elegant Auction 2015 image by Virginia Lazar Photography“The ladies on the auction committee out-did themselves once again,” Pence says. “It’s truly amazing how they put it all together. I’d like to give a big shout out to all the members of the auction committee for their tireless efforts and devotion to their community. They truly are a special group.”

The Elegant Auction was held at Tenaya Lodge again this year, in a room large enough to accomodate the crowd while still remaining intimate. Nice lighting, great food, no-host bar. Guests initially milled about, noting their numbers on silent auction bid sheets and buying raffle tickets by the armful. About 220 items were included in the silent auction this year, a huge feat of coordination arranged by the committee.

“Our venue was a little smaller this year due to a wedding event, but Tenaya lodge and their staff provided us everything we needed, and then some.”

Elegant Auction 2015 image by Virginia Lazar PhotographyFood-wise, Tenaya pulled out all the stops, including a carvery with all the neccessary add-ons, loads of appetizers both passed and buffet, delicious sushi, delectable desserts and enough complimentary champagne to float a boat.

“The accommodations are always top notch and the team at Tenaya is a true class act.”

In honor of the 30th year the Elegant Auction has been held, the theme was pearls ala Audrey Hepburn, which apparently delighted the crowd, based on the opportunities most took to take their look to the umpteenth level. As more people arrived to bid and party, the atmosphere began changing from quietly elegant to excitedly electric, and soon, the live auction itself was underway.

The youngest guest - Elegant Auction 2015 image by Virginia Lazar PhotographyFundraising is really what’s important about the event. It’s cool to dress up, and have a night on the town. Where the passion really becomes obvious, though, is when the bidding begins in earnest on the items reserved for the live portion of the auction.

It’s all about having an awesome local park that families can enjoy. Everyone was behind the push, as guests and sponsors were unflagging in their determination to give way more than they got. The result was about $46,000 raised to support the Oakhurst Community Park. Organizers were quick to point out that Friends of the Park, along with all the kid-swinging, Frisbee-playing, dog-walking people who visit everyday, are a big part of the reason the park stays open.

Elegant Auction 2015 image by Virginia Lazar Photography“Most importantly, I would like to thank all of our supportors,” continues Pence, including “those who donated, those who attended and those who bid in both our live and silent auctions. The park is just a piece of land if not for all the supporters this year and previous years. Please be proud of the Blue Ribbons you hang in your offices and businesses, and be sure to thank those supporters by shopping and doing business locally.”

Organizers take a brief breath after the event, and then they get started working on next year’s Elegant Auction. If you would like to donate or be involved in the 2016 auction, let Andrew Pence know by phoning (559) 658-7611.

Members of the Elegant Auction Committee are: Andrew Pence, Susan Macaulay, Paula Trappen, Tami Michel, Maria Miller, Gina Mimas, Erica Pence, Mary Pence, Rima Runtzel, Rhonda Salisbury, Christine Smith and Donna Smith.

Organizers have developed a follow-up survey, according to Rima Runtzel of digital media marketing firm Local Social. “The auction committee appreciates participation by taking and sharing the survey in an effort an even better experience at next year’s event!”

Take the Elegant Auction Follow-up Survey.

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