Auction Fest Termed A Success Once Again
Organizers for the 2009 Emmetsburg Catholic School’s Auction Fest, “The Greatest Show on Earth”, say the annual event was once again a success. The event, which features a banquet, silent and live auctions and special games, was held Saturday night in Corrigan Hall, which was decorated in the fashion of a circus.
Complete from an entry way decorated like the sideshow of a circus, complete with fortune teller, ticket booth and lions, tigers and polar bears, Corrigan Hall took on the atmosphere of a big top circus for the estimated 300-plus persons who attended the event. The circus theme carried through perfectly inside Corrigan Hall, with a trapeze artist suspended above the center of the room, and alternating red and white wall coverings completing the effect of a huge circus tent.
The evening’s festivities included a special presentation to Emmetsburg Catholic School instructor Diane Smith in recognition of her 20 years of service to the school. Bruce Nelson an alumni of the school, was the featured speaker of the evening. Nelson recalled his days as a student, in the school, and related several tales of youthful mischief that drew sustained laughter from the crowd. However, nelson also related the sense of values and spirituality he developed through his schooling, and how the lessons learned have served him through his life so far.
Keeping a long-standing tradition, three alumni of the Emmetsburg Catholic School returned to serve as valets for the evening. Sara Schany, Jack Geelan and Scott Smith assisted guests with checking their coats and locating their tables under the big top in Corrigan Hall.
Hundreds of silent auction items sparked continued bidding through the evening, as auction-goers clustered around the bidding tables to stay “in the hunt” for their favorite item. The live auction, handled by ringmaster Joe Temme of Omaha, drew spirited bidding on numerous items, including a flurry of bids on a quilt featuring blocks created by the Kindergarten students at Emmetsburg Catholic School. The bidding ended at $3,000 for the one-of-a-kind quilt, with Jon and Corinda Walker winning the prize quilt when Temme’s gavel fell.
Throughout the night, games were offered to the participants, including the “Heads or Tails” game, this year with a circus twist. Participants were given a red clown nose to use in the game. If they chose heads, they wore the clown nose, and if they chose tails, they did not wear the nose. If a contestant guessed wrong, they were eliminated from the game. After several coin flips, three players remained: Ellie Rezabek, Linda Louwagie and Billie Jo Hoffman. All three came to the center ring and after discussing their options, opted to split the $1,000 cash prize equally between themselves, giving the remaining $100 back to the Auction Fest.
Preliminary estimates for the event saw over $21,000 raised through silent auction purchases, and over $42.000 was raised through the live auction items. Totals of the various games and activities from Saturday night and Friday night’s Preview Party event, as well as other donations have not been tabulated as of The Reporter’s press time on Monday.