Tuesday, August 9, 2011 was a hot summer evening on the Catawba College campus, but a really cool event took place in the Kirkland Lobby of the Abernethy Physical Education Center. Catawba's inaugural Silent Auction, a fund-raising event for the college Athletics Department, brought alumni, Chiefs Club members, faculty, staff, and fans of the college out for food, beverage, fellowship and a chance to bid on some hot items.
Close to $13,000 were raised during the hour and a half long event that allowed bidders to vie for items including weeklong stays at vacation homes, golf packages, comfortable chairs, restaurant meals, artwork, Richard Petty driving experiences, a wine-tasting dinner and much more. All items available in the Silent Auction were donated especially for the event.
Only a very few attendees walked away empty-handed, and weekly golf buddies, John Graham '62 and Bob Wilson '62, were not among them. The two had their eyes on the golf packages. Each ended up with the winning bid on separate golf packages that allowed them to plan two golf outings with each other and two invited guests. Wilson has been a strong supporter of Catawba Athletics and a Chiefs Club member since that organization's inception in 1976.
Tom Childress, Catawba's senior vice president of development and responsible for athletics at the college, said the funds raised would allow Catawba's 18 athletic teams to remain competitive even in a tough economic environment. "We are grateful to all of those who turned out and supported this effort and to all of the folks who donated items for the auction. The event was so successful that we hope to repeat it annually."
Childress added that donors to and supporters of the Silent Auction "can see the results of their supporting roles in our student-athletes who will be in action on the court and on the field in this upcoming academic year." He noted that more than a third of all students at Catawba participate in one or more of the college's 18 sports.