Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Adventure 2011

This past Saturday night was the 2011 Great Adventure Dinner and Auction.  Saturday marked my 2nd year as an employee at Medical Teams International and my 3rd auction.  The past several weeks have definitely been busy - there is a lot of work that goes into an event of this scale.  At times I was amazed at everything that our team of three (me, Deb and Chiqui) were juggling: item procurement, decor and catering, invitations and rsvps, wine donations, catalog production, run-of-show schedule, corporate sponsors, a Lexus raffle, hundreds of volunteers.  This event is definitely becoming a well-oiled machine!

A few days before the big night, the warehouse at our headquarters was cleared out and transformed into a Caribbean dining hall.  Things came together pretty smoothly this year.  Deb and I got into the office early on Saturday morning, made a few last minute tweeks, then looked at each other and said, "Let's do this!"

I got chills as people began flooding in the warehouse at 5pm on Saturday evening.  All that we had dreamed about and planned was finally becoming a reality.  Generous items that were procured by our dedicated committee members and wine that I had carried in and out of our storage facility was now being bid on by guests who's name tags showed names that I had become quite familiar with over the past few month.  Then the guests were seated for the dinner and live auction where our new auctioneer, Letitia, welcome them with plenty of energy and got them riled up over 28 live auction items, each one better than the last.

Everytime I try to explain this amazing auction to friends or family, I find that I can't actually put it all in to words.  I can never relay the energy and excitement that fills the warehouse.  Or fully explain the humbling generosity of our donors and how miraculous one night can be.

On Saturday night we raised a record-breaking amount: $1.414 million!!!!

The following morning, our incredible staff and volunteers gathered for a celebration brunch to congratulate one another and talk about what a great night it was.  I sat there and looked around the room at the amazing people whom I was surrounded by: a couple who have dedicated the last 3 years of their life chairing this auction and getting literally everyone they know involved, the president of Lexus of Portland who completely donated a $31K Lexus for our raffle, an elite producer who practically donated all of his production services to make our event top-notch, the most knowledgeable wine connoisseur I know, and a handful of women who won't take no for an answer when it comes to procuring auction items.  This is the reason I love my job.  It is truly a blessing to work with each of these people.

So another successful auction is behind us... and we're already scheming for next year!
our superstar committee

the Caribbean dining room

the international auction room

Katie, our auction intern, and me

more pictures coming soon...


  1. girl! you are such a great planner! so proud of you friend. this looks like it was an amazing event!

  2. Mary, sounds like it was a fabulous event!! Looks like all your hard work paid off. :) Congrats!!

  3. What a fun evening it must have been! How did your Ugandan purchases go in the auction?

  4. So happy for you that it was so successful! I totally forgot about the things you got in did they do? By the way, you look beautiful!