The National Auctioneers Association recently pledged to raise half a million dollars over five years to support the hospital’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which will help St. Jude train the next generation of its scientific and medical minds.
NAA members have raised $100,000 since March.
Beginning in 1995, NAA members have made a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases through their support of Memphis, Tenn.-based St. Jude. The association’s Auction for Hope program has raised more than half a million dollars since 2006.
To raise money, NAA members are doing the following:
Years ago, Charles Wehrly and his son, Scott, offered to sell a couple of St. Jude ties to raise money for the hospital.
Wehrly, who founded Wehrly’s Auction in Glen Rock, Penn., expected the ties to fetch about $50 a piece.
Instead, they raised $1,500 for the hospital in mere minutes.
Since then, the Auctioneers have conducted a benefit auction every spring for St. Jude, with local residents donating cakes, crafts, candy, goats, handmade wooden benches, wagons and more.
Each year, a woman in Glen Rock, whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer and spent time at St. Jude, gives a presentation to attendees.
The Wehrlys raised $8,700 for St. Jude this spring and hope to continue the tradition.
“People like coming out to help us and support St. Jude,” says Wehrly, who has worked as an Auctioneer for 40 years. “This auction always gets a lot of support.”
Marc Weiler opted for a slightly different route to raise money for St. Jude.
The Auctioneer from Chatsworth, Calif., sent out dozens of letters, requests and e-mails to local businesses and national corporations.
A handful of hotels offered free one-night stays he could auction, and a casino gave away a night of lodging and dinner. A few restaurants offered gift certificates.
Then, the Wal-Mart Foundation joined, sending a $250 check.
“We were excited to get Wal-Mart on board,” says Weiler, who runs Weiler Group Auctioneers with his brother, Lee. “When we applied for a grant, we didn’t know if we would even hear back from them.”
Weiler hopes to build on Wal-Mart’s support by seeking more donations and grants from businesses and foundations. Raising money for St. Jude is a priority for his company.
“This is all about children, and that touches everyone,” he says. “We want to do our part to help.”
John Roebuck, CAI, AARE
As a longtime resident of Memphis, John Roebuck, CAI, AARE, has seen firsthand how St. Jude changes lives.
“They fix the hearts of children and save lives,” says Roebuck, who runs Roebuck Auctions. “I don’t know of an organization more conservative or wise in how they spend their money.”
Roebuck conducted his first St. Jude benefit auction, a horse show, in 1962. Years later, as President of the NAA, he initiated a partnership between the association and hospital.
Roebuck now conducts the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl benefit auction, which raises money for St. Jude. So far this year, he has raised $30,000 and plans to present the hospital with a check for $112,000 in October.
Roebuck encourages NAA members across the country to give back to their communities and raise money for the hospital.
“St. Jude ensures that no child will be left behind,” he says. “This is something the NAA should be part of.”