Last night was the long-awaited charity auction for Joey's Rotary club. Had I mentioned that Joey was actually put in charge of said auction? So it has been four months of bitching, whining, and general dread lingering around him like Pigpen's cloud of dirt.
Part of what I like about Rotary is that it's a way to give back to the community in very specific ways. Last year, they did the auction for the first time and raised over $45,000 for the burn unit at the big trauma center downtown. This year the charity of choice is a bereavement camp for kids - one of the few in the nation - that does amazing work with kids who have lost someone special in their lives. Parents. Grandparents. Siblings. Friends. This camp helps them heal and become kids again. The story that was shared last night was about a kid they have been helping who was stabbed by his own father as he tried to protect his mother - who ended up being stabbed over thirty times by the father and she passed away. Some of these kids have been privy to unspeakable horrors, and anything that can be done to return a sense of normalcy to their lives is okay in my book. So we were totally on board for this charity.
Well, not so much for the rest of the club. I guess it's twofold - first, they did a charity auction last year as a fundraiser, and it probably would've been better to do something different like a gala or a casino night. Doing the same fundraiser two years in a row doesn't work for this crowd, and Joey tried to raise that issue in the initial stages but was outvoted. The other issue is that no one was spending big bucks last night like the year before. Maybe it's the downturn in the economy. Maybe people didn't like the items that were being auctioned. And maybe people just weren't in the mood...there were a lot of empty seats despite the fact that the event was sold out and we had a waiting list for tickets. This flu bug sweeping the city eliminated all six of our guests last night, and who knows who else.
But it was all good. Joey and his committee did a great job organizing it all. The food was wonderful. They had open bar. The prizes were pretty darn good - although not as great as last year because we didn't get some of the "wow" prizes like trips to Cabo or airline tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. People just weren't giving that stuff up this year.
I suspect that they raised about $40,000 this year. Maybe less. Joey and I ended up being the big winners of the night by winning a beach house rental just north of Hatteras, right on the ocean, for a week. Five bedrooms. With pool. On the ocean. The guy that owns the place is a gazillionaire and we hear the place is suh-weet...and if I have any prayers whatsoever of ever having a "week at the beach" with Joey and Monkey Man, it's gonna have to be a place like this. Joey hates, hates, hates the beach. Maybe he won't hate it so much if we have a cool crib to stay in. Anyhow, I got into a bidding war against another woman at the auction and I think we turned more than a few guys on. Yeah, I ended up with a lot of business cards last night, those silly bastards.
Oh, and we auctioned off someone's car keys. For $450. That'll teach that guy to leave his keys up on the silent auction tables. Ahem.
Anyhow, we are so relieved that it is all finally over - Joey because it's a culmination of four months of torture, and me because I'm relieved to be free of the bitching.
Tonight is Badass Girls' Night Out. And after last weekend's guy night, they will be lucky if we come home before dawn. Richmond, watch out!