Help change women’s lives at the Zonta Club of Concord’s 28th annual Holiday Auction

One of the highlights of the Zonta Club of Concord's Holiday Auction is seeing auctioneer Janice Severance (left) dressed up in some sort of holiday-themed costume.  Courtesy of Zonta Club of Concord
One of the highlights of the Zonta Club of Concord's Holiday Auction is seeing auctioneer Janice Severance (left) dressed up in some sort of holiday-themed costume. Courtesy of Zonta Club of Concord

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord isn’t the only organization that knows a thing or two about running an auction – the Zonta Club of Concord has also been at it for more than two decades, and their 28th annual Holiday Auction is this Wednesday.

The Zonta Club of Concord is part of the larger Zonta International organization. The club’s mission is “empowering women through service and advocacy,” and the Concord chapter has been around for nearly 60 years. The annual Holiday Auction helps the club deliver on its mission and goals. And it’s just a fun, community event.

The auction, to be held Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center, is a night of food, friends, fraternizing and bidding on a variety of items. This auction is actually two auctions in one, as there is a silent auction and a live auction.

When people first arrive, they can pick over some appetizers while placing bids in the silent auction, featuring about 30 to 35 items. The main program, including the live auction, will begin around 6 p.m.

The live auction will feature about 40 items, plus about 30 gift certificates for various businesses in the area. Auction items will include Eastman Cross Country Center passes, a handcrafted quilt, entertainment baskets, memberships to the Audubon and YMCA, and an oil painting, among other things.

Apart from the auctions, there are other fun elements included in the evening, such as the Scratch Ticket Bonanza. This will be the second year of this bonanza, in which someone will walk around with a vest covered in $100 worth of scratch and lottery tickets, which guests can buy raffle tickets for. The winner will get the tickets – and the vest.

There will also be a wine raffle of sorts – it isn’t so much a raffle as a mystery purchase. Guests can choose one of 20 corks to buy for $20, and each cork matches up with a bottle of wine. The wine bottles range in price from about $20 to $80, so there’s a good chance you could score a high-end bottle of wine for $20.

Another important part of the event is Ante Up for Education. This is an initiative in which people can bid to help financially support a nontraditional female student at NHTI.

“We have a memorial scholarship program over there,” said Janice Severance, co-chairwoman of the club and the auctioneer. “Last year we gave them $7,000 for women who apply for this scholarship.”

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, the woman has to have been out of high school for five years, must have completed at least 12 credit hours and have logged a GPA of 2.5 or higher. She must also show a financial need.

The Holiday Auction usually features a few recipients of the scholarship from years past – these women get up on the stage and talk a little about how the scholarship helped them improve their lives.

“The last couple years have been touching,” Severance said of the personal stories.

The event has also created its own little community of regulars.

“What’s real fun is that many attendees have come for many years,” Severance said. “We all know a lot of them so it makes it more fun because you can really kind of barter with them.”

There will be a $25 cover charge at the door, and get there early if you haven’t reserved a spot yet – there may not be room for too many more people.

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Author: Jon Bodell

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