Georgina Dotto, organizer of the St. Anthony’s annual silent auction, said that this past September auction would be the last year for the fundraiser.
For the past 17 years the silent auction has be held, first as a garden party at St. Anthony’s Catholic church, to 11 years ago moving into the Houston mall.
Dotto said she wanted to run and organize the auction because she believed that they could raise more funds than what they were currently receiving.
“I was cheesed when I found out how much money was raised one year, which was far below the value of what was donated, and I wanted to change that. So when I took over we started writing on the bid forms the starting bid at a minimum of half the retail value,” said Dotto.
The money raised by St. Anthony’s covers the church’s obligations and commitments and the rest is donated to other organizations and people in need in Houston. The Salvation Army food bank, Love by the Bowl soup kitchen, and Mary’s Meals; a global organization that provides meals and education to people in needs are just a few to mention.
This year $3000 was raised for tithing by the silent auction, which will be donated to the three organizations mentioned above.
In the past St. Anthony’s has also donate money to help refugees that came to Houston, and donated two wheel chairs to the Knights of Columbus for the walk from Smithers to Houston.
Dotto spends three months of the year preparing and running the silent auction.
“In March, letters need to be made and addressed to the businesses in Houston and Smithers, as well as the parishioners in Houston and Smithers, and they need to include what each person or business previously donated and what its value was, so that they can decide whether they want to donate the same amount or increase their donation,” said Dotto.
Dotto says that it was her goal every year to increase the number of businesses that donated, and every year she has.
“Some businesses can’t donate, some close down, but basically the ones that started with us, are the ones that ended with us,” said Dotto.
In August, Dotto personally delivers each letter to parishioners and owners of businesses, where she says they have a good laugh every year when they see her coming and know, “it’s that time of year again.”
“Most of August is back and forth communicating with people and businesses to get the prizes together,” said Dotto.
And then in September, Dotto and other volunteers are inside the mall for two weeks between 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. to watch the donations as people visited the mall to place their bids. Then after organization pick up times
Dotto said that she decided that this would be her last year doing the auction because she wants to invest her time in other passions.
“I’m tired, and I have a large garden that I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to take care of,” said Dotto. “I love my church, I love my community, and I have really enjoyed networking with people and the businesses in Houston and Smithers.”