A Tribute to Veterans Day

November 11, 2014

On June 4, 1926 the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I, when it passed a concurrent resolution with these words:

“On November 11th, may the recurring anniversary of this date be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

My dad, Randy Wells, a Navy Sea Bee in 1970

My dad, Randy Wells, a Sea Bee in the United States Navy 1970

Today, and everyday, may we pay tribute to our Veterans, and showcase support for the incredible Nonprofit organizations throughout our country who are working to ensure that our Veterans are cared for, and their children are provided with strong foundations of support.

Two such organizations include Lines for Life, and the Tsuga Community Commission’s Oregon Summer Star Camp!

Lines for Life’s Military Helpline provides confidential and complication-free support for returning veterans and their families, and is a vital resource for those men and women who have given so much.

Tsuga Community Commission’s Oregon Summer Star Camp  – a special statewide community and customized camp for youth and teens to share experiences related to their parent’s military service.

Tsuga Community Commission's Oregon Summer Star Camp

Tsuga Community Commission’s Oregon Summer Star Camp

2014 is a deployment year for Oregon, and roughly 1,200 Soldiers from Oregon’s Army National Guard are expected to deploy to Afghanistan.

Today, and everyday, may we give thanks to those who have served, and those who continue to serve.

Today and everyday, may we remember war, and imagine peace.

360′s Everyday Philanthropist’s – Celeste Hamilton Dennis and Craig Dennis!

October 6, 2014

It’s there. That opportunity to extend good will. That chance to rise to the occasion. That moment when a simple action -  entirely authentic and built upon what’s right and true, can generate momentum and snowball into something so completely magical that it spills out into the masses, inspiring all that have the good fortune of seeing such a beautiful thing transpire.

Celly & Craig

This past June, 360 friends Celeste Hamilton Dennis and Craig Dennis organized a cash mob – where people flood a small, local business, and pledge to support it -  and what transpired was priceless.

In support of a beloved retailer in Celeste’s hometown of Levittown, N.J, Celeste and her husband, Craig, hatched a loving call to action to surround a local businessman, “Avi”, with a wealth of support that extended well beyond monetary measure.

Celeste and Craig are do-gooders by day, sharing their heartfelt talents at Idealist.org, and Treehouse, respectively, so it was no surprise that they launched forth with such a genuine plan to show a local retailer just how much he means to the community.

As a contributing writer for Everybody’s Invited, Celeste wrote about her plans for Avi’s cash mob, and outlined a step by step cash mob guide in hopes that you’re inspired to do the same.

In the post, Celeste states, “Like many small businesses on Long Island and across the U.S., he’d come up on hard times and was likely going to shut the store down. So we saw this as an opportunity to show just how loved and supported he was in Levittown and in the process, hopefully give him some extra cash.”

The result was renewed hope for Avi, and this short documentary.


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Takes Fundraising to New Heights!

September 4, 2014

Unless you’ve been taking up residence on another planet, in another galaxy, you’ve heard about the now infamous, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Since the inception of this social media fundraising platform on July 20, 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than 115 MILLION DOLLARS to continue their efforts in fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front!

Jimmy Fallon

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon took the ice bucket challenge, alongside house band The Roots, and fellow guests!

Celebrities, soccer mom’s, children, and business professionals alike, all geared up to participate in this unique form of fundraising!

But what exactly made this fundraising campaign so unique? For starters – Facebook.

Within one month, over 15 million had been exposed to this fundraising platform, and the social media pressures extended to family and friends to participate in this chilling form of fundraising, received unparalleled support and a whirlwind of participation. I was certainly swept up into the fundraising momentum, and inspired to participate as well!


In July of 2013, the ALS Association raised just $2.8 million in their fundraising efforts. In July of 2014, the ALS Association had raised $31.5 million total – in one month alone – a remarkable departure from the previous year’s fundraising efforts during the same time frame, and the first successful advocacy campaign ever created to raise deserving awareness of the devastating effects of ALS – a neurodegenerative disease that causes people to lose control of muscle movement, which often leads to paralysis and death within two to five years of being diagnosed.

The only FDA-approved drug for treatment, riluzole (Rilutek), extends survival by a matter of months, which is why the magnitude of support generated from this innovative form of fundraising now known as the Ice Bucket Challenge is providing those living with and affected by ALS with an epic sense of hope – the hope for a tomorrow that’s free from ALS.

As you and your team explore fundraising options, take a cue from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The next big fundraising idea could begin with YOU!




Spring Fundraising to New Heights

July 1, 2014

A fundraising auction and event’s overall success is determined long before the guests arrive and the clanking of glasses and casual chatter is heard. Long before the first package is brought to the auction block and an eager sea of bidders waive their bid cards high in the air in support of your nonprofit organization. Months of step-by-step preparation through strategic development, cultivation, procurement, and dedication lay the groundwork for fundraising success. This spring’s fundraising season success was achieved at new heights due to enthusiastic donors immersed in mission-driven events and the relationships built leading up to each fundraiser.

BTB 2014

Johnna Wells facilitates the Special Appeal atop 15 foot stage at Vital Life Foundation’s BridgeTown Bash.

From start to finish our nonprofit partners were able to achieve great results by infusing mission, stories, and passion into their auction and event to engage and inspire guests. Thoughtful, consistent communication and personal conversations with donors prepared guests prior to the fundraising event. Before guests arrived, they knew what to except, how to participate, and the importance of showcasing financial support at the event. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by friendly staff and volunteers, engaged throughout each portion of the program, and inspired to give generously through a strong case for investment.

With over 30 auction and events facilitated by our Benefit Auctions 360 team this spring season, these are the trends that stood out:

  • Most popular theme: Gatsby/Speakeasy/Roaring 20′s
  • Special Appeal: contributions are back to record levels as seen in 2007
  • Live Auction: largest package sold at $27,500 for a trip to the Masters
  • Silent Auction: less is more with focus on games as additional revenue generators
  • Run of Show: less talking heads and more storytelling
  • After Party: engage new supporters with a separate admission ticket to dance the night away as they learn about your organization

With these trends seen throughout the spring fundraising season, we are excited for what is in-motion for the fall fundraising season. We kick-off on stage in two months and look forward to reaching greater heights with our nonprofit fundraising partners. Here’s to a summer filled with momentum building!

June 12th – World Day Against Child Labor

June 12, 2014

Today, throughout the world, around 215 million children work, many full-time. They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labor such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labor, illicit activities including drug trafficking, prostitution, and involvement in armed conflict.


In 2002, the International Labor Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labor to focus attention on the global extent of child labor and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

Each year on June 12th, the WDACL brings together governments, employers, workers, and organizations,  as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child laborers and what can be done to help them.

Around the world, large numbers of children continue to be engaged in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer. These children can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is typically hidden from the public eye, often resulting in isolation, or requirement that they work far away from their family home. Stories of the abuse of children in domestic work are all too common.

The creation of this annual observance of WDAC and continued efforts to end child labor, is thanks in part to Lewis Hine – a  New York City school teacher and social documentary photographer, who in 1911, was hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document child labor abuse in America. His heart-wrenching images of children at work helped lead to the passage of new labor laws in the United States.

group photo child labor

{“Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker. S. Pittston, Pa, January 1911″ – By Lewis Hine}

He felt so strongly that if people could just see for themselves the injustices of child labor, they would rise up and demand its end. He used his photography as a means to achieve social reform.

{Child Labor Law Promo Bill, by Lewis Hine}

Hine believed that a camera, held with hands of compassion, can be a powerful tool for positive change, and once stated, “perhaps you are weary of child labor pictures. Well, so are the rest of us. But we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child labor pictures will be records of the past.”  

child labor

As written and documented by photographer, Lewis Hine: “Furman Owens, 12 years old. Can’t read. Doesn’t know A, B, C’s. He told me, ‘Yes I want to learn but can’t when I work all the time”. January 1909

Though much has changed since Lewis Hine’s portrayed the stark conditions of working children during the early 1900′s, the issues of child labor sadly continues.

Imagine a world in which every child attended school and nobody was forced to work against their will. World Day Against Child Labor stresses the central role of programs that reduce poverty and vulnerability, and in partnership with the United Nations, is working to ensure that children have access to basic resources including nutrition, health and education, so that they may fully realize their potential.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance: Invest in the Movement

May 30, 2014

This year, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance will once again be bringing the Alice Awards & Auction to Pure Space located in the Pearl. The event will be held this Saturday, May 31st, 2014.


Each year, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance hosts a party to celebrate the contributions made by citizens, businesses, and organizations and to raise some money to support the movement for better bicycling.

AliceWeb11Join us for the 19th annual Alice Awards & Auction to honor those who have made a significant impact on the bicycling movement, and to celebrate the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s successes this past year.





LifeCycle Adventures trip for two

Experience Hawaii’s Big Island, California’s Wine Country, or the San Juan Islands on a private, five-day, custom bike tour for two. You choose the where (from the above options) and when, and Alaska Airlines will fly you and your guest there.

 Whether you want to enjoy Napa’s famous wine valleys, the redwood groves of Sonoma, the tropical paradise of the Big Island’s north end, or the forested hillsides of the San Juan Islands, LifeCycle Adventures will work with you to customize your trip based on what you want: how far you want to bike each day and what you want to see.

{Photo Cred: 2014 Backroads}

{Photo Cred: 2014 Backroads}

While you are out exploring by bike, LifeCycle Adventures will take care of all the logistics, including bed and breakfast accommodations, personal map briefings, and transporting your luggage from town to town. They’ll even provide you with a bike (either hybrid or road). If you happen to buy wine while out riding, they’ll collect it for you!

Listed by National Geographic as one of the their Best Outfitters on Earth, you know you’ll be in good hands, having the cycling vacation of your life.


To bid on this package, gain insight into other Live Auction packages featured in the upcoming Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Alice Awards & Auction, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Bicycle Transportation Alliance, contact Title, Name, Phone Number, Email Address

Dine-Out for Raphael House!

May 6, 2014

On Wednesday, May 7th, more than 20 local restaurants throughout Portland will be donating a percentage of their proceeds to support Raphael House’s life-saving domestic violence shelter!  dine out for raphael house


Every year, local restaurants and diners show their support for local families escaping domestic violence by contributing a portion of proceeds to Restaurants for Raphael House - a multi-faceted domestic violence agency dedicated to ending intimate partner violence for good.

If you’ve not yet made plans for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, take a look at this incredible list of participating partners, and schedule your reservations now!

Accanto – 2838 SE Belmont St
Bread and Ink Cafe – 3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Chiang Mai – 3145 SE Hawthorne Blvd
The Country Cat – 7937 SE Stark St
PaaDee – 6 SE 28th Ave
Pacific Pie Co. – 1520 SE 7th Ave
¿Por Que No? – 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Roost – 1403 SE Belmont St
Saint Honore Bakery – 3333 SE Division St
Ya Hala – 8005 SE Stark St

Beulahland – 118 NE 28th Ave
Bin 21 – 5011 NE 21st Ave
Dove Vivi – 2727 NE Glisan St
Firehouse – 711 NE Dekum St
Nonna – 5513 NE 30th Ave
Radio Room – 1101 NE Alberta St
Smallwares – 4605 NE Fremont St

Lincoln – 3808 N Williams Ave
¿Por Que No? – 3524 N Mississippi Ave

Cafe Nell – 1987 NW Kearney St
Pacific Pie Co. – 1668 NW 23rd Ave
Saint Honore Bakery – 2335 NW Thurman St

Bento Box – 530 SW 10th Ave
E-San Thai – 133 SW 2nd Ave
Mother’s Bistro & Bar – 212 SW Stark St
Thirst Bistro – 0315 SW Montgomery St #340

Chuckie Pies – 430 5th St (Lake Oswego)
Rivershore Bar & Grill – 1900 Clackamette Drive (Oregon City)
Saint Honore Bakery – 315 1st St #103 (Lake Oswego)


Cascade AIDS Project to Celebrate 25 Years of ARTful Fundraising!

May 3, 2014

It has been said that “Art remains the one way possible of speaking the truth”, and the truth is, over 1,000 people will be gathering tonight at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum in dedicated support of Cascade AIDS Projects 25th Annual Art Evening & Auction!

promo image

For 25 years, some of the most talented local and national artists have generously donated their works to the auction. A highly curated, and impressive showcase of acclaimed artists committed to speaking their truths through concept and medium. This year’s Live Auction  features seventeen captivating lots, including the exemplary work of  Dale Chihuly, Anna Skibska, and Tom Cramer to name a few. The funds raised thanks in part to featured artists, incredibly generous patrons of the arts, and fervent supporters of CAP, supports the vital advocacy, prevention and educational services and outreach CAP provides to thousands of Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS.

Got Game?! Show it off at this pub-style trivia contest for Open Meadow!

May 1, 2014

Tonight we join Open Meadow at Portland’s Left Bank Annex for their 4th Annual Got Game fundraising event -a pub-style trivia contest where guests can exercise their brains and brawn to create tremendous possibilities for young people in our community!

Got Game

Auctioneer, John Mayo will join host, Drew Carney of KGW for an unforgettable evening of comical Q & A to raise deserving funds for Open Meadow, an inspiring organization that has been making a difference in the lives of North Portland youth since 1971!

Open Meadow believes that strong, healthy communities provide pathways to success for everyone, and that education is central to creating these pathways. And at Open Meadow, education is the key to disrupting core issues of racism, poverty, and violence -  which serve as continuous barriers to success. Open Meadow focuses on young people: endowing them with the skills, power and hope to be agents of change in their communities. Investing in the education of every student motivates and empowers them to create the equitable communities we all deserve.

One such student, Eddie, featured in the incredibly inspiring video below, is proudly launching into a vibrant future thanks to the foundation of support he’s received from Open Meadow!

Offering a personalized educational experience for middle and high school youth, Open Meadow Schools develop connection, capability, and confidence in disconnected youth through relationship-based, quality learning experiences that result in academic, personal, and community success.


PBS News Hour features, Bridge Meadows!

April 16, 2014
In recent months, Bridge Meadows was honored to host Catherine (Cat) Wise, Producer from PBS News Hour, as she prepared a story on innovative housing options for elders.
The PBS News Hour piece features Portland, Oregon’s own Bridge Meadows – a unique and innovative multi-generational community designed to bring together three generations: adoptive parents, foster children, and elders – helping each to find a true home built with love and the shared vision of a better tomorrow.BM family

If you missed the original episode, which aired originally on April 15th, on our local PBS station, OPB, during the News Hour program from 7 to 8pm, you can still watch the broadcast on their website at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/ 

A heartfelt congratulations to Bridge Meadows from the team at Benefit Auctions 360 on this segment! Your role within our community to provide a stable, loving home for foster children, support for adoption, and continued opportunities for elders to have a sense of community and purpose is inspiring, and we’re so honored to work with you!


TADA! It’s Portland Institution for Contemporary Art!

April 11, 2014

The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) is happy to present their annual gala, TADA! Join PICA on Saturday, April 12th, from 6-10pm at The Bindery Annex Building at 2117 NE Oregon Street for an evening of creatively curated fundraising fun!


Attendance at TADA! supports the power of artists, the significance of contemporary art, and the profoundly powerful presence of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art! For nearly 19 years, PICA has connected our community with some of the most groundbreaking work by artists throughout the region and around the world. Help PICA continue to make these connections during PICA’s annual benefit party TADA!

Actress, Robin Wright, star of the highly acclaimed American political drama television series, House of Cards, serves as this year’s Honorary Chair,

Robin Wright

{Photo Credit: popwrapped.com }

Portland’s own Byron Beck serves as the evening’s Auction EmceeByron Beck alongside Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, and together, they’ll lead guests through a uniquely PICA driven auction and event that features some of the hottest auction packages to ever cross the auction block!

Packages include:

VIP treatment with House of Cards!

A trip to Art Basel in Miami – the world’s premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works!

An extraordinary getaway to the Ace Hotel in London

Several PICA infused packages like, Critical Mascara, TBA, and More!

To attend this iconic event, and explore opportunities to showcase deserving support for PICA,
Contact the TADA! Team at 503-242-1419 or tada@pica.org



A Powerful Night for Girls Inc.

April 7, 2014

Johnna AuctioningThe 9th Annual Power of the Purse, in support of Girls Inc. was a dynamite night of fundraising, exceeding their revenue goals! High energy, high octane support catapulted this auction and event to the next level!

Timber Joey was there to support the purse donated by the Portland Thorns as well as to showcase his support for Girls Inc. Watch Timber Joey’s recap of Power of the Purse HERE!

The top seller of the night, was a beautifully designed purse made by Ellington Handbags and inspired by Delta Airlines Pilot, Jen Peri. It’s unique aviator style and aerodynamic shape, as well as exotic metallic leather, red interior, and metal hardware were just like an airplane. Included inside the purse was a complimentary clutch and accompanying wallet, as well as two round-trip business elite tickets to Europe, courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Jen Peri

Girls Inc. Girl Tess and Pilot Jen PeriOne of very few female pilots for Delta Airlines, Jen Peri is certainly a strong, smart and bold leader within the aviation field. Jen grew up in a family of pilots, and when she was 27 she was one of the youngest women to be hired as a Delta Airlines Pilot. Jen took Girls Council member, Tess, on a tour of a Delta Airlines plane at PDX.


Girls Inc. of NW Oregon encourages and inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold. With such an amazing night of support, this organization will continue to partner with girls like Tess, and show her that when it comes to dreams, the sky truly is the limit! For more information on Girls Inc./Power of the Purse or to showcase your direct support for Girls Inc. please visit their website, call their office 503-230-0054 or email them at info@girlsincnworegon.org


Brian Grant Foundation is Powering Forward with Parkinson’s

March 31, 2014

Every 9 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Right now, more than 1 million people are living with Parkinson’s in the U.S. – that’s more than the combined totals of people with Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Muscular Dystrophy. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the Brian Grant Foundation is Powering Forward with Parkinson’s through strategic community partnerships to bring awareness and raise program funds.

The Brian Grant Foundation was founded by former 12 year NBA player, Brian Grant, after his own Parkinson’s diagnosis, to create a community for those living with Parkinson’s, as well as their family and friends impacted by the disease. The Brian Grant Foundation’s mission is to empower those impacted by Parkinson’s to live active and fulfilling lives. In four years, they’ve made an amazing amount of progress, developing programs focused on the importance of diet and exercise.

Brain Grant

{Photo by Brant Grant Foundation}

In honor of the Brian Grant Foundation and Brian Grant’s athletic career with the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers, Moda Health and Kaiser Permanente are teaming up at two NBA games in April. High energy, information filled evenings have been developed for the games in Sacramento (April 2) and Portland (April 4). As the honored charity at Rip City Eclipse when the Portland Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Centera t-shirt featuring Brian Grant was designed to be sold exclusively at the game. All proceeds from the evening benefit the Brian Grant Foundation.

Rip City Eclipse

{Design by Moda Health}

Sometimes it takes getting hit to realize who’s got your back. Sometimes it takes fans to remind you that doing the dirty work matters. - Brian Grant

BA360 is honored to provide strategic development consultation for the Brian Grant Foundation. We are huge fans of their important work. You can join us in powering forward to make a difference at Brian Grant Foundation or showcase your direct support, contact Executive Director, Cherise Bjornsgard, at 503-265-1597.

masQuerade with Q Center

March 28, 2014

After having to reschedule their auction and event in February, due to Portland’s immense winter snow storm,  Q Center, in partnership with community supporter TheStandard, is poised to host their annual winter gala, masQuerade Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, on March 29 at Castaway.Q Cntr Gala March

Tickets to this event are sold out, but After Party tickets are still available! Come celebrate the amazing work Q Center does for the LGBTQ community.

Q Center’s mission is to provide a safe space to support and celebrate LGBTQ diversity, visibility and community building. They go above and beyond by offering programs and services in four core areas: Arts & Culture; Education & Training; Health & Wellness and Advocacy.  Support from the people of the Portland community is greatly appreciated as this organization is largely volunteer based, reaching anyone who needs what Q Center has to offer.

To gain insight into the Live Auction packages featured at the upcoming Q Center Winter Gala: masQuerade, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support contact Event Coordinator, Kate Bowman, 503-234-7837, kate@pdxqcenter.org.


Surviving in Style with the Help of Red Cross Oregon

March 20, 2014

The American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter is pleased to present their Surviving in Style auction and event this Thursday night, March 20th at Castaway Portland in the Pearl.

{Photo Credit: Castaway Portland}

{Photo Credit: Castaway Portland}

Red Cross wants YOU to join them for a seat on the fashion runway in downtown Portland for their second annual Surviving in Style event, presented by Fred Meyer.


You’ll see and be seen sipping specialty cocktails, enjoying haute cuisine and bidding on swanky trips, entertainment and one-of-a-kind packages you won’t find anywhere else. Philanthropy is this season’s hottest trend. There is no better way to stay in style than by supporting this classic organization.

Here’s a little preview of a couple show stopping items you can purchase to chow your support for American Red Cross of Oregon!

Walk the Red Carpet

Play to the paparazzi on the red carpet entry to the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards! You and a guest will travel on Southwest Airlines to glitzy Los Angeles where you will see and be seen in total style as you enjoy a seat to television’s biggest night live from the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. You’ll also get tickets to see the always hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Live on August 26 and Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police. So pick out your most stylish outfit, put on a beautiful pearl necklace from Springwater Jewelers and pick up your crystal clutch handbag and bracelet provided by Lake Oswego Jewelers, and get ready to be a star! A gift certificate for dinner will top off your night.

Emmy's Package



m29440111_155x106-oregon-trail-auction-10 Adventures near or far, you will walk away with a great package all the while showing your support for a great organization! Spend a week on a South African Safari experiencing wildlife at it’s finest


If you’d rather stay close, another great package– Touring Portland in Style!

the-famous-white-stagAnd it truly is everything Portland folks. Including tickets to several Portland sporting events, tickets to several theatrical and visual arts programs, as well as a high flying adventure over Mt. Hood. Eat at several local eateries and first hand see all that makes Portland such an amazing city.

To bid on either of these packages, or to view the entire Live Auction catalog featured in the upcoming Red Cross Surviving in Style Auction & Event, CLICK HERE. Or if you’d like to explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter, contact Rene Contakos, Manager of Leadership Gifts, 503.528.5662, rene.cantakos@redcross.org



Celebrate: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow with Catlin Gabel

March 14, 2014

Benefit Auctions 360 is proud to join Catlin Gabel School on Saturday, March 15 at the newly expanded urban event venue, Pure Space, located in the Pearl District.  Catlin Gabel’s event and auction, Celebrate: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, showcases the unique relationship between the students and teachers, creating a focus for the powerful relationship that teachers have with students throughout all areas of Catlin Gabel.

catlin logoCatlin Gabel’s Online Auction is open until March 17. View auction items and simply click to place your bid. For information on Live Auction packages featured in the upcoming Celebrate: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support of Catlin Gabel School, contact Carroll Casbeer, Special Events Manager, at 503-297-1894 or casbeerc@catlin.edu.

Girls Inc., The Power of the Purse-o-nality!

March 11, 2014

Join Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon at the Portland Hilton this Friday, March 14th to share a common thread of caring at this fundraising event that is sure to inspire, uplift and raise support for a dynamic organization that reaches out to the girls of NW Oregon.


 Girls Inc. inspires girls, ages 8-18, to be strong, smart, and BOLD! With gender-specific programs and research-based curriculum, Girls Inc. provides girls with the confidence and self-esteem to access a bright and economically-independent future. You go Girls Inc.!


PURSE-O-NALITY: Meleana Shim – Portland Thorns midfielder
DESIGNED BY: Spooltown

Keeping with their tradition, Girls Inc. is putting on The Power of the Purse Auction and Event this weekend! Featuring once again the highly acclaimed Power of the Purse “Boutique”, which will allow guests to to peruse the ware’s of some of Portland’s hottest boutique designers, including stumptown favorite’s Betsy & Iya, Ellington Handbags, AMiRA, and dozens more! After guests and Girls Inc. supporters have shopped ’till they drop in the Purse Boutique, they’ll have the chance to raise their paddles in the Live Auction on fourteen signature purses that have been created by Portland’s hottest local designers in partnership with some of our communities strong, smart, and bold female Purse-o-nalities!

With fourteen Purse-o-nalities featured in this year’s Live Auction, the real girls of Girls Inc. will strut their stuff on the runway, showing off these unique, one-of-a-kind purses, each of which include several extra “goodies” to sweeten the deal to ensure you can add some Purse-o-nality to your future plans!  Feel like taking a trip to Europe? This year’s Ellington Hand Bag features 2 round-trip tickets direct to Amsterdam, courtesy of Purse-o-nality & Delta Air Lines Pilot, Jen Peri!


DESIGNER: Christina Castillo


PURSE-O-NALITY: Anais Tuepker
DESIGNER: Emily Katz

To bid on these purses, and show Girls Inc. that we stand by them and support their mission to inspire young girls to be STRONG, SMART and BOLD, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Girls Inc. of NW Oregon, contact Benna Gottfried, Development Director, 503.230.0054 x3,  Benna@girlsincnworegon.org



An Evening of Decadence in Celebration of Our House!

March 7, 2014

Though many have tried to bottle that “formula”, that “magic”, that “je ne sai quoi” that turns a fundraising event into something extraordinary, something momentously memorable and authentic, it can often be hard to capture. Like catching lightning in a bottle. 


Strive to capture that lightning in a bottle!  {Photo Credit – Hamaliel}

Our friends at Our House however have their finger on the pulse of what moves their donors and catapults their patrons interests and support to a new level, and they showcase this innate ability to connect with the Portland community during their annual fundraising auction and event!

Our House has been part of the Portland community since 1988, inspiring people with HIV/AIDS to live well, by providing healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.


On Saturday, March 8, 2014, they will once again capture that “lightning in a bottle”, as they open the doors of the Portland Art Museum for one of the most highly anticipated auction and events of the year, “Decadence”, an evening celebrating the roaring 20′s and the inspiring work of Our House.

Event Logo Photo

We are so incredibly honored to join Our House and their entire team, alongside Event Chair – Gregg Macy, Master of Ceremonies – Dale Johannes, and the Portland community during this unforgettable evening of decadent indulgence and loving support for an organization that we hold close to our heart.

To explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Our House, contact Development Director, Andrew Tweedie-503-595-6126, atweedie@ourhouseofportland.org, and Associate Director of Development, James Lindquist, 503-595-6121, jlindquist@ourhouseofportland.org.

Oregon Partnership Lines for Life, Love for Life

March 4, 2014

Benefit Auctions 360 is extremely honored to work with Oregon Partnership Lines for Life for this fabulous gala at the Portland Art Museum later this week.  We are incredibly excited to see this event taking place on March 7th, as their original date selection was impeded by the winter storm that swept through Portland the week of February 7th, forcing Lines for Life to postpone their fundraising efforts until a later date.

lines for life event logo

Serving thousands of people struggling with addiction and mental health issues with treatment referrals and drug prevention education, Lines for Life (formerly Oregon Partnership) also aids those contemplating suicide. We’re very honored to join Lines for Life for this rescheduled auction and event, and celebrate the incredible services that they provide, touching so many families in our community.

With several excellent packages up for bid, raise your paddle for a night of dynamite fundraising! Showcase your support for Lines for Life by heading off to New York, New York!  You and a guest will fly Alaska Airlines round-trip and rest comfortably for three nights at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and also receive two tickets to the LIVE taping of the new “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Now THAT is a night in New York!

Jimmy Fallon phot for package preview

 To bid on this package, gain insight into other Live Auction packages featured in the upcoming Oregon Partnership Lines for Life Auction & Event, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Oregon Partnership Lines for Life, contact Tom Parker, Director of Strategic Development & Communications, 971-244-1375, TomP@linesforlife.org

Albertina Kerr Goes to the Prom!

March 3, 2014

With patrons dressed their best; Albertina Kerr’s 80’s Prom Night event was nothing less than successful! A fantastically fun evening welcomed guests as they arrived at Montgomery Park on February 28th, 2014 to raise their paddles for Albertina Kerr Centers - the leading provider of services to children, adults and families with emotional or mental health challenges and developmental disabilities, inspiring each to live richer lives.

{Photo Credit - Joshua Wells}

{Photo Credit – Joshua Wells}

 For a creative revenue generating twist inspired by the 1980′s, Albertina Kerr offered fun games and activities including hula-hooping for wine, shooting hoops for restaurant gift certificates, Heads or Tails for an all-inclusive trip to Mexico as well as the always-fun Golden Raffle Ticket drawing.  Sticking to the 80’s theme, Albertina Kerr offered a package deal dubbed the “Arcade Pass” selling for $150 which included all the games and raffle opportunities listed above.  The “Arcade Pass” was quite the hit with guests at the prom.

Arcade Pass photo

Thank you to everyone who came and supported the amazing work that Albertina Kerr does in our community. By raising paddles high, patrons continue to show their generous support for a truly inspiring organization.

If you would like to explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of Albertina Kerr Centers, please contact Nanda Sturm, Associate Director of Corporate Development and Giving, 503.262.0174, NandaS@albertinakerr.org

A Night of Stars – Featuring Javier Colon, the 2011 winner of The Voice!

February 21, 2014

On Thursday, February 20th, Benefit Auctions 360 proudly joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland for their annual fundraising auction and event, “A Night of Stars – Featuring The Winemaker’s Private Reserve Dinner“, sponsored by The Standard! Since 1946, this extraordinary organization has been providing thousands of young people throughout the Portland metro area with affordable, high-quality after-school and summer programs designed to inspire and enable all young people to be the best they can be!

2014_Ticket Site Banner.ai

This annual fundraising auction and event featured a lighting round Live Auction, comprised of ten packages, and a Special Appeal, providing guests with the opportunity to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland with direct support at a level of giving that is meaningful to them.

This “Night of Stars” allowed for Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland to roll out the red carpet for their supporters, and highlight their shining stars – the youth of Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, and pay tribute to their Youth of the Year!

    Boys & Girls Clubs 6

With LED lights hovering overhead in the Portland Art Museum’s Mark Ballroom, guests were reminded that by raising their paddles proudly during the Special Appeal and Live Auction, that they were in fact helping the youth of our community to quite literally reach for the stars!

Boys & Girls Clubs 4

As 1 in 4 children are living in poverty in Oregon, and gang activity has risen 40% in the last two years, opportunities provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland play a monumental role in enabling young people within our community to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Joining in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, was American Singer Songwriter, Javier Colon, whom in 2011 won the inaugural season of the U.S. television show on NBC, The Voice, receiving $100,000 and signing a recording contract with Universal Republic Records.

The 2011 winner of The Voice, Javier Colon performing at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland's Winemakers Dinner!

The 2011 winner of The Voice, Javier Colon performing at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland’s Winemakers Dinner!

He proudly lead local Boys & Girls Club youth through an incredible performance that rocked the Portland Art Museum, providing a monumental, life changing memory for the youth that joined him!

We are incredibly honored to have been presented with the opportunity to join Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland in helping our area youth to forge positive and fulfilling futures!






Auctioneer, Tim Luke to join OCAC for Art on the Vine 2014!

February 5, 2014

On Saturday, February 8, 2014, Benefit Auctions 360 will proudly partner with Oregon College of Art and Craft on their 19th Annual Art on the Vine auction and event, featuring a stunning array of artwork created by both OCAC students and our remarkably talented and acclaimed community of Portland artists.OCAC

 Benefit Auctions 360 proudly welcomes, Tim Luke to Portland to facilitate this finely curated art auction! Tim Luke Head ShotTim Luke has an extensive background in the field of antiques and collectibles.  He is a featured appraiser on HGTV’s show “Cash in the Attic” and has participated as an appraiser on public television’s “Antique’s Roadshow.”

Before becoming an independent consultant, Tim worked at Christie’s auction house in New York City as Director of the Collectibles Department. Benefit Auctions 360 is honored to work with Tim Luke on the 19th Annual Art on the Vine Auction and Event for Oregon College of Art and Craft! A vibrant celebration of OCAC, Craft, and Portland’s creative community!

PHAME Academy’s “Sparkle!” Gala 2013

November 8, 2013


On Sunday, November 10th, Benefit Auctions 360 will excitedly join PHAME Academy for their annual Sparkle! Gala, at Portland’s Governor Hotel!


PHAME is the Portland region’s fine and performing arts organization serving young and older adults with developmental disabilities, inspiring each to lead full, creative lives through arts education and performance.

PHAME’s annual, showstopping “Sparkle! Gala” will champion opportunities and possibilities for all artists, raising funds for PHAME’s acclaimed fine and performing arts education programs!

This stellar, signature fundraising event will showcase PHAME student art work, entertainment from PHAME student musicians, and a line-up of PHAMEous Live Auction packages, like the following, one-of-a-kind opportunity:

Star in Your Own Runaway Mustache Productions Film!Alex Huebsch and Marc Friedman, the team from Runaway Mustache Productions is offering a complete film production package. Including:

  • planning and strategy for a 5 minute long custom film
  • up to six hours of filming
  • up to 12 hours of editing
  • Thank you to Alex and Marc at Runaway Mustache Productions for this incredible gift


With that in mind, it’s clear that this 2013 Sparkle! Gala will shine brightly, casting an unforgettable glow of stupendous support for the inspiring student artists of PHAME!

To bid on this package, gain insight into other PHAMEous Live Auction packages, or explore opportunities to showcase your direct support for the work of PHAME, contact Executive Director, Stephen Marc Beaudoin 503-764-9718 (office), 617-281-8569 (cell), smbeaudoin@phameacademy.org (email).




Set Your Sights on a PHOTO BOOTH!

October 28, 2013

Keeping your guests entertained and engaged throughout the entirety of your fundraising auction and event, is a sure fire way to boost guest engagement! And active guest engagement is a wonderful kick starter towards the success of your fundraising auction and event! A Silent Auction, backed by additional revenue generators such as Raffles, Wine Walls, Games, etc., are great ways to engage your supporters throughout the course of your event.  A sponsored Photo Booth is another fantastic way to engage your guests in your signature, annual fundraising event, leaving them with a memento to recall the celebrated support and fun had by all at your event. This type of sponsorship opportunity is an advantageous marketing option for your sponsorship menu, providing a potential sponsor with a very engaging way of highlighting their support for your fundraising event!


Lauren Dully and Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360 pose in the Speakeasy inspired Photobooth sponsored by DiLusso Homes, and presented by PaparazziTonight.com

DoveLewis Celebrates 40 Years!

October 23, 2013

DoveLewis, Portland’s only non-profit animal hospital in Portland devoted exclusively to emergency and critical care for animals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, rolled out the red carpet to welcome their favorite two-legged, and four-legged friends at DoveAdore 2013, featuring the crowd favorite, Boutiques Unleashed Fashion Show! Hosted by KGW’s Drew Carney and BA360 Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, the event raised over $422,000, honoring the undeniable bond we share with our furry friends, and celebrating the essential work of DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, and the critical role they have played in our community for over 40 years!

Check out the 360 LIVE video below for an auction sneak peak!

Record Breaking Weekend for Portland Nonprofit’s!

October 18, 2013

At Benefit Auctions 360, we are incredibly proud to partner with organizations that we believe in, and wholeheartedly support! When we have the opportunity to assist our clients in ascending towards their fundraising goals, our pride soars alongside their increased support and revenue!

Auctioneer, Johnna Wells joined veteran sports broadcaster, Ann Schatz in the critically important work of Basic Rights Oregon, witnessing paddles raised BROhigh, sending BRO and their white-hot annual fundraising event, IGNITE on a fundraising trajectory that yielded over $450,000 in support of marriage equality in Oregon, thanks to a stunningly supportive sold-out crowd, sent the BA360 Team into spirited cheers of fervent support for the Love, Family, and Commitment that we believe should not be denied to anyone! As if the success of their fundraising event, and the efforts of BRO to help Oregon secure marriage for everyone throughout the state were not enough, Saturday’s fundraising auction and event, The Great Adventure, benefiting Medical Teams International, sent the weekend’s fundraising revenue over the top!


The International Market Place at MTI’s “Great Adventure” 2013

BA360 Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, joined Auction Host, Matt Zaffino from KGW for a “Great Adventure” through some of the most coveted Live Auction packages available! Held at MTI’s headquarters, a phenomenal $1.2 MILLION DOLLARS was raised for the incredibly impacting work of Medical Teams International, ensuring that high quality medicines and supplies can be delivered with high quality care when it matters most – allowing the positive impact of MTI’s global health programs to continue to be felt in Oregon and around the world!



Celebrate Northwest Bounty and Help to Eliminate Hunger with Oregon Food Bank THIS Saturday!

October 16, 2013




Saturday, October 19, 2013
At Oregon Food Bank’s headquarters,
7900 N.E. 33rd Drive, Portland, OR 97211

I love this time of year with its crisp, cool air, the beauty of the vibrant Fall colors decorating the city, and the bounty of harvest in our home gardens and in Northwest farms. The arrival of Fall makes me want to sit by the fire with my family, cozy blankets over us and mugs of hot coco in our hands in anticipation for the fast-approaching holiday season.

However, I know that we take these simple pleasures for granted.

For far too many people, this time of year is just another reminder of the colder months to come, making conditions even more difficult to provide for their families. Due to long-term unemployment, persistent underemployment and the high cost of food, gas, utilities and rent, more and more people are being put into a position of having to seek emergency food.

The need for emergency food is unprecedented. For the second year in a row, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes in Oregon and Clark County.  Statewide emergency food box distribution increased 9 percent over the previous year, and has increased 41 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008.

Though the 2013 Oregon Harvest Dinner is a celebration of northwest bounty, it is also an evening of fundraising that is crucial in supporting Oregon Food Bank’s ability to continue to: 

  • Provide emergency food and training to hunger relief agencies
  • Match local donations to help agencies build capacity to better serve people who are hungry through the Network Support Fund
  • Collect and Distribute nutritious, perishable foods for people who are hungry through the Fresh Alliance program
  • Support low-income participants to grow food from seed and to stretch food dollars while cooking healthy meals with education programs
  • Work through FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture Solutions Together) workshops and other partnerships to help communities build stronger and more equitable local food systems
  • Utilize the Advocacy Team to work in finding long-term, public-policy solutions that benefit people with low incomes 

Join in support to eliminate hunger and its root causes by joining us for the Oregon Harvest Dinner to benefit Oregon Food Bank….because no one should be hungry.  Tickets to the Oregon Harvest Dinner are available by contacting Tracey Walker at 971-205-5004 or twalker@oregonfoodbank.org.


  • 5 Days in a beautiful Black Butte home for 8
  • Dinner for 4 at Andina with theater tickets
  • One week in the South of France!
  • VIP Blues Festival experience
  • 2 Nights and Golf in Bandon Dunes
  • 4-Course Meal with Tequila Pairings for 10 by Crave Catering
  • 2 Unrestricted tickets on Alaska Airlines
  • VIP New Year’s Eve Governor’s Ball — Tickets for Two
  • Concert Weekend for 4 and VIP Guests at Chateau St. Michelle

Explore absentee bidding options and additional showcases of support by contacting, Tracey Walker, Special Events Coordinator, - TWalker@ogregonfoodbank.org - 971-205-5004

Support DoveLewis at DoveAdore this Friday!

October 15, 2013




Friday, October 18, 2013

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave.
Registration opens at 5:30PM


The saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend” didn’t come about for no reason. Our faithful dog friends along with other family pets stand by our sides through it all and bring us so much joy every day. Buddy was one such friend to myself and others here at BA360.

Buddy came to us from Costa Rica through family friends and arrived a very grateful rescue dog. In my first days with him, I jokingly spoke only Spanish as if to help ease him into our language and culture. But, the only language Buddy truly understood was the language of love and friendship.  As a former street dog, I wouldn’t exactly call Buddy loyal.  When his loving owners traveled often, Buddy would happily stay with friends and family, and I was lucky enough to have him at our home with some regularity.  It was an easy sell to take him in. One look into those big brown eyes of his and he could melt any heart.

Within a few weeks after Buddy’s arrival to the United States, we had learned he had Ehrlichiosis, also known as Canine Hemorrhagic Fever, Canine Typhus, Tracker Dog Disease, and Tropical Canine Pancytopenia. The disease has three stages, with the third becoming fatal. Veterinary care helped Buddy live happily in remission from the disease for eight wonderful years until just this past July when he suddenly fell very ill. When this happened, his owners immediately took Buddy to DoveLewis, where they knew he would be well cared for in his critical state.

It became official — the disease had reached its final stage. The news was difficult to bear after so many healthy years with our trusty friend, but knowing that the caring staff at DoveLewis were able to stabilize Buddy and provide him with everything he needed to live pain-free in those final weeks somehow made it a little easier.  During his one-week stay at DoveLewis, Buddy received exceptional care and the staff allowed for daily visits and walks until he was stable enough to return home to be with his circle of friends and family through his final day. We will be forever grateful for the caring communication and compassion from the DoveLewis staff as we faced the challenges of saying goodbye to our furry friend. Buddy will always be in our hearts and we are so very grateful for the care he was given in those final days.

In association with the regional veterinary community, DoveLewis provides 24-hour emergency, critical care, education and community outreach. Their three-part mission is simple: 

  • Improve the condition of animals needing emergency and critical care.
  • Strengthen the ties with, and extending the reach of, the veterinary community.
  • Promote the well-being of animals and the human-animal bond throughout the community at large.

 Benefit Auctions 360 proudly joins DoveLewis as they hold DoveAdore THIS Friday.  The fabulous gala is combining two of Dove’s most popular fundraisers – Wet Nose Soiree and Boutiques Unleashed into one special night — DoveAdore!  At this event, hundreds of DoveLewis’ top supporters gather for a live auction, dinner and benefit, culminating in a fashion show featuring local human and canine boutiques. Celebrity humans and pets showcase the hottest fashions for both ends of the leash.

That night, I will be thinking of our sweet Buddy and the compassionate care he received from DoveLewis, which will never be forgotten.

At this time, tickets to DoveAdore have tentatively SOLD OUT!  If you are interested in being added to a wait list, please contact rsvp@dovelewis.org.

Consider exploring the list of Live Auction packages below to place an absentee bid and show your support for DoveLewis if you were unable to get your hands on those tickets before they sold out! For a link to the full Live Auction package descriptions, click HERE.

  • Live Painting by Tim Decker
  • One-week stay in Chateauneuf-du-Pape (the Champagne region of France)
  • Have your favorite pet featured on a DoveLewis Billboard and bus bench!           
  • African Safari! Need I say more?    
  • An Unforgettable Culinary Cruise 
  • One-week at a stunning mansion in Manzanillo, Mexico
  • British Virgin Islands Charter
  • Resort stay in Bali!
  • A Brew named after your dog at Lucky Lab!
  • A Luxury weekend in Cannon Beach while your dog is pampered in Portland
  • Make your pet the DoveLewis Calendar Cover Model

Explore absentee bidding options and additional showcases of support by contacting, Kate Goudschaal, Director of Communications,  – KGoudschaal@dovelewis.org - 503-535-3381


1st Annual Portland Design Auction 2013

Benefit Auctions 360 had the opportunity to join savvy host, The Good Mod for their inaugural Portland Design Auction, on October 10, 2013. Held in conjunction with Portland Design Week which celebrates Portland’s treasured designers and makers, artsy movers and shakers, this 1st Annual Portland Design Auction, or rather PDA, allowed for auctioneer, Johnna Wells to utilize a slower, more formal bid call in an urban, auction house setting. Cheers to The Good Mod and their launch of PDA 2013!

The Good Mod to host inaugural Portland Design Auction!

October 8, 2013

On October 10th, The Good Mod - a Portland staple for phenomenal Mid-Century Modern furniture -  will launch their inaugural Portland Design Auction in conjunction with Portland International Design Week!  goodmodsite_pdabanner

This savvy and talented crew will host a one-of-a-kind, cutting edge Live Auction, featuring both acclaimed and up and coming designers at their 21,000 square foot warehouse on West Burnside – 1313 W Burnside ~ 4th floor ~ Portland, OR 97209.

TGM 5 Doors to this signature event open at 5:30PM for VIP catalog preview, with a Live Auction start time of 7:00PM.

Owner Spencer Staley and his crew of talented craftspeople lovingly refinish mid-century modern and industrial furniture in this expansive and inspiring space, and also offer fabrication, appraisals, upholstery classes, custom designs, and furniture rentals to name a few.

There will be over fifty lots up for auction in this carefully curated collection,   attracting collectors, designers, and auction goers alike. You can view The Good Mod Auction Catalog HERE, obtaining information therein on participating in this Live Auction on-line, or, contact the lovely Ana Mikolavich, The Good Mod Project Manager, at 503-206-6919 for further information. We’ll see you, at the auction!


Rod & Weave Chair (1 of 2) by Eric Trine







Experience Portland Homeless Family Solutions – THIS Sunday, October 13th!

October 7, 2013



The 6th Annual Auction, Experience Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Sunday, October 13th

Castaway in NW Portland

This upcoming auction and event will allow guests to gain an experience of family life at Portland Homeless Family Solutions -from a walk through of the sleeping areas families set up every night, to a sit down family style meal, and a “day in the life” video of life in shelter.

This year’s auction is excepted to sell out, so be sure to purchase tickets HERE as soon as possible to reserve your seat!

There will be many ways to support Portland Homeless Family Solutions at the event:

  • Take home a package from the evening’s Silent or Live Auction
  • Partake in a game of Tails and Feathers
  • Take home a bottle of wine from the Wall of Wine
  • Purchase Housewarming Baskets for families moving from shelter into homes of their own
  • Take home a beautifully made custom Birdhouse stuffed with gift certificates


  • 2-Nights in Manzanita for 6-8 people
  • Fly South for Florida Sunshine! – Round-trip tickets for TWO on Spirit Airlines to Orlando, Florida only 5 minutes from Disney World! Condo sleeps up to 6 people
  • Round Trip Tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines Flies
  • One-Week in Cortona, Italy for 4!
  • One-Week in Martha’s Vineyard Cottage for 8!
  • Wine Country/Hot Springs Resort Romantic Retreat for 2 – Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Maryhill Winery
  • Spectacular Portland Arts Package
  • Weekend Getaway to Gearhart Beach House for up to 8

Explore absentee bidding options and additional showcases of support by contacting, Brandi Tuck, Executive Director – brandi@pdxhfs.org  – 503-710-2769

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It’s a Great Adventure with Medical Teams International


Medical Teams International is hosting the 8th Annual Great Adventure!

 Saturday, October 12, 2013

Recognized as one of the premiere charitable events in Portland, over the past seven years more than $7.8 million has been raised to support programs all over the world that are changing lives of people affected by disaster, poverty and conflict.

For one night, the Medical Teams International (MTI) Distribution Center is transformed into a global adventure. From the moment you enter the building, you step into another world. Tour the multi-sensory REAL.LIFE. Exhibit where you will “experience” MTI’s impact. Sip delicious wine and nibble appetizers while you enjoy a unique variety of silent auction items – from wine, dinners and art to tickets, spa treatments and vacations. Stroll through the international bazaar which features items collected from countries served by MTI. Beautiful scarves, wooden bowls, textiles and unique art take you to a world far away.

This auction is not one of Portland’s finest without reason. The organization does great work both globally and locally. Last year alone, Medical Teams International helped more than 2.7 million people in 70 countries.  Support to the organization goes a long way, as a $30 donation to the organization leverages $3,361 worth of medicines and medical supplies.  Locally, Medical Teams International delivers personal hygiene and medical items to 70 social service agencies in the northwest. For the past four years, Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-recognized charity evaluator, has awarded Medical Teams International four stars, its highest ranking. They are recognized for sending more than 97% of donated resources we receive to help people in need.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE will include a LIVE AUCTION, which will showcase some of the fabulous and well rounded auction packages, summarized below. If you’d like to review their full Auction Catalog, check HERE.

  • Wine Country Getaway - including helicopter transportation!
  • Artwork by Guy Buffet and Christine Warjone
  • A Bali Getaway for 8
  • Jimmy Fallon NYC Adventure
  • Timbers Game for 20 in a Key Bank Private Suite
  • Torrey Pines Lodge getaway for Two - including Spa treatments and dinner at A.R. Valentien
  • Winemaker Dinner at Genoa for 16
  • Hawaiian Choose Your Own Adventure – you pick the island of your choice!
  • Author’s Dinner Party – hosted by Pat Reser and joined by New York Times Best Selling Author, Phillip Margolin
  • Under the Tuscan Sun with a Getaway to Cortona, Italy for 6 people
  • Costa Del Sol (Coast of the Sun), SPAIN for 8
  • Australian Multi-generation Labradoodle Puppy
  • A Week in a Puerto Vallarta Mansion for 8
  • Custom Wood Trunk by Sticks
  • Azamara Club Cruise – secure an ocean-view stateroom on one of 72 voyages scheduled for 2014
  • A Week in Taos, New Mexico for 4
  • Las Vegas Penthouse / Michael Jackson ONE
  • Nike Sports Package – Tours, Employee Store, Ducks or Beavers Home Game (your choice), Seattle Seahawks
  • Palm Springs for 4 – (December 5th – 12th 2013)
  • Chef’s Dinner for 12 by Diane Morgan with wine from private collections of John and Fran von Schlegell, held at Daphne Cooluris and Michael Doherty’s home
  • Fly First Class on Alaska Airlines
  • A Holiday Getaway to Seattle for You and Yours!
  • Napa Valley Wine Verticals

Explore absentee bidding options and additional showcases of support by contacting, Mary Carter, Major Donor Events Coordinator – mcarter@medicalteams.org – 503-343-3338


IGNITE with Basic Rights Oregon!

October 4, 2013


Basic Rights Oregon is getting ready for their annual gala: IGNITE: Get Engaged

Portland Art Museum next Friday, October 11, 2013.


One week from today, Basic Rights Oregon will host their annual gala (Ignite) to celebrate accomplishments and recognize community leaders, business executives, lawmakers, supporters, and activists who have gone to extraordinary lengths to further equality. The evening begins with an exclusive dinner for 350 VIP guests, followed by a party (with a purpose) for 1,000!

DONT MISS OUT!  PURCHASE TICKETS HERE to secure your spot at this exciting event!

Basic Rights Oregon has long been seeking to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians experience equality through building a broad and inclusive politically powerful movement, shifting public opinion and achieving policy victories.

Funds raised at the gala will support Basic Rights Oregon & Oregon United for Marriage.



  • One-week stay on the Big Island of Hawaii
  • Private dinner for 6 with former MLB player Billy Bean, author of Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball and Vice Chairman of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation
  • A day of personalized training with Ben Cohen, Rugby Star and Founder of the StandUp Foundation!
  • Luxury boat dinner cruise for 6 – hosted by longtime BRO supporter, Jeff Heatherington
  • A private meal for 6 by Departure Restaurant & Lounge’s Chef Gregory Gourdet – complete with wine or cocktail pairings!
  • An amazing evening for 8 at the chef’s table at Bluehour Restaurant with Chef Dolan Lane – paired with amazing local wines handpicked by Erica Landon
  • One-week stay in Manzanita Oregon at a cozy beach cottage for up to six people!
  • A VIP trip for two to San Francisco to attend the National Center for Lesbian Rights annual star-studded Gala on May 17, 2014.
  • Celebrity Cocktail Class – 8 guests will learn how to prepare drinks with renowned Lucy Brennan of Mint/820 while sipping and conversing with Portland State’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach Sherri Murrell

Explore absentee bidding options and additional showcases of support by contacting Juan Martinez, of Basic Rights Oregon  – juan@basicrights.org – 503-222-6151, ext. 103

“No Kid Hungry” Dinner features Rita Wilson!

October 1, 2013

The 3rd Annual No Kid Hungry Dinner was a culinary and philanthropic success last night!

Irving Street Kitchen's No Kid Hungry Dinner!

Irving Street Kitchen’s No Kid Hungry Dinner!

Hosted at the home of soulful cuisine, Irving Street Kitchen, the night was alive, as ISK en wrapped their dynamic guest base with captivating gastronomy of epic proportions, all in support of Share Our Strength – a national campaign working to end child hood hunger ! Featuring the incredible talent and perfected palettes of Chef’s Richard Reddington, of Redd and Redd Wood, Alissa Rozos, of St. Jack, Cathy Whims of Nostrona, and our host for the evening, the incomparable, Sarah Schafer of Irving Street Kitchen!

Byron Beck and Auctioneer, Johnna Wells

Byron Beck and Auctioneer, Johnna Wells

With a sumptuous four course meal on the horizon, guests mixed and mingled throughout a comfortable and casual cocktail hour, preparing all the while for an exclusive performance by the one and only, Rita Wilson.

Through her friendship with No Kid Hungry Event Chair, the beautiful and charming, Chrisanne Davis, Rita Wilson, a well-known actress (It’s Complicated, Sleepless in Seattle, The Good Wife) and a film producer (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Mamma Mia!), joined our No Kid Hungry dinner, as the evening’s special musical guest for an intimate and show stopping performance! Backed by her stellar band, Rita performed several pieces from her new album, as well as a crowd favorite, Angel of the Morning, by one of my long time favorites, Juice Newton!

Rita Wilson performing at the No Kid Hungry Dinner at Irving Street Kitchen!

Rita Wilson performing at the No Kid Hungry Dinner at Irving Street Kitchen!

After a whirlwind of applause for her talented performance, Rita joined guests for dinner, and great conversation, as four courses of unforgettable decadence swept through the restaurant, one after the other. Just as dessert was to make it’s way out, Irving Street Kitchen sweetened the pot, as the beautiful and exquisitely talented Sheila Hamilton of KINK FM, joined Auctioneer, Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360 in a lightening round Live Auction, featuring six exclusive packages to inspire guests to launch into support for Share Our Strength – an inspiring organization that works nationally and locally to provide children and families facing food insecurity with the resources, programs, and nutritious food that they need to grow and thrive!




BA360 LIVE! On site with Arts Central!

September 29, 2013

We’re here tonight at the Bend Golf & Country Club, raising our paddles for the work of Arts Central!image  Executive Director, Cate O’Hagan and Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, are gearing the crowd up for a creatively inspired fundraising auction to support the transformative power of arts education!

It has been proven that students with an eduction rich in the arts have higher GPA’s and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and a stronger sense of community!

Tonight’s Black & White Gala supports Arts Central in their efforts to inspire creativity through arts education to the communities of Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties!


I Have a Dream Foundation spells SUCCESS at Alder Elementary!

September 27, 2013

Upon stepping foot into Portland’s Alder Elementary School, bright-eyed school children respectfully and quietly walk down the halls in single file line, guided by their teacher, whom is leading them towards the cafeteria. A large poster just inside the front door proclaims, “Alder is where college begins.”

Our team at Benefit Auctions 360 had the opportunity to take a tour of Alder Elementary last week, and within a few minutes inside Alder Elementary, it was clear that Alder teachers and staff aren’t just leading students down the hall towards lunch, or recess, they were leading children towards a strong and sustainable future – one marked with a cap and gown, and effective steps to take them college-bound!IHAD tree photo And this is thanks to the work of the I Have a Dream Foundation of Oregon!

Creating an environment that fosters a college-bound culture, the I Have a Dream Foundation-Oregon in partnership with Alder Elementary infuses an inspiring notion of academic drive and infinite possibilities throughout the entire school. Classrooms have signs noting the year the children will graduate from college – the kindergarten class, for example, proclaims in big, bright, bold letters,  “Class of 2030!”

Alder is a high-poverty school in which more than two-thirds of its nearly 600 students speak English as a second language, more than 30 languages overall being  spoke throughout the school, and more than 90 percent receive subsidized meals. Fewer than 15 percent currently go on to graduate from high school, let alone college, however the I Have a Dream Foundation-Oregon is working diligently with the school, parents, and community, to ensure that graduation statistics begin to climb, and that each child firmly believes in their potential to move towards a future which includes college on the horizon!  Here at Benefit Auctions 360, we are ecstatic to be partnering with the I Have a Dream Foundation – Oregon on their 5th annual Dream Big fundraising auction and event to be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the Portland Art Museum!  If you would like to attend or support this evening of cocktails, hand-picked Silent Auction packages, dinner, and one of a kind Live Auction packages, click HERE to purchase tickets, and join this motivating movement to encourage children within our community to Dream Big!



Put a bid on it: How a Portland, OR auctioneer is keeping the city’s nonprofits afloat


posted by on August 20, 2013
Filed under: Intentions

Johnna Wells BGF photo

Johnna at the 3rd Annual Shake It Til We Make It fundraising auction and event for The Brian Grant Foundation, held last year at the iconic Rose Garden Arena. (Photo credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com)

Every weekend for nine months out of the year, auctioneer Johnna Wells stands up in the center of a room filled with hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, and tries to raise the most money possible for that night’s nonprofit.

Her auction chant is automatic at this point; the mental juggling is all about reading the body language of the bidders at key tables, making sure she gets the minimum amount for the donated goods, and sustaining the energy of the crowd.

It’s become second nature for Johnna, who is admittedly shy otherwise.

“I’m more uncomfortable in a room of ten people than a thousand,” she says. “But once I get up there and get a microphone in my hand, it’s almost like my superhero cloak. I feel at home, and less exposed in that way.”

From artist to auctioneer

Johnna’s been around the rapid-fire auction environment her whole life. Her mom and dad owned and operated auction houses in Coeur D’Alene and Post Falls, Idaho, which specialized in antiques and collectibles.

As kids, every day after school, she and her brother would help their parents get read for the weekly Friday night auction, and every Friday night, they would listen to the patter of their dad’s bid call, rolling out their sleeping bags in the clerking room while buyers checked out with their treasured wares.

“It seems nerdy, but it’s an interesting and cool community of little vignettes of stories and lives,” she says.

But Johnna outgrew the family business as she got older. After studying art at the University of Idaho, she moved to Portland and began a series of art-related jobs ranging from window dressing to jewelry design. During this time, she started to question whether or not she could continue to pay the bills as an artist—and if it was fulfilling her desire to do good in the world.

Then her dog died back home. On a whim, she quit her jewelry store job, got on a plane, and chose a seat that happened to put her next to two old-timers who’d known her grandparents and told her tales of days long ago.

“Sometimes it feels like once an action is put in motion, you know you’re on the right track when the rest of those pieces start to fall into place and remind you that you made the right decision,” she says.

She ended up staying in Idaho for the summer. Coincidentally, her father’s health took a bad turn and she further learned the ins and outs of the auction method when her parents opted to leave the family farm and move into a condo. It was during that summer that she decided to go to auction school and, afterward, apprentice at a local fundraising auction company back in Portland before starting her own business.

Portland’s powerhouse fundraiser

Now Johnna is one of the seven percent of women auctioneers around the world, and a 2005 International Auctioneer Champion.

Her company, Benefit Auctions 360, works with a variety of Portland nonprofits including Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Cascade AIDS Project, and the homeless youth organization p:ear.

The fundraising auctions, which Johnna likens to “original crowdfunding,” are anything but small affairs. Throughout the course of the year, her team works with each nonprofit to strategically plan and promote each auction and event. Venues range from art museums to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum; performers have included local and famous musicians alike, from Julianne Johnson to KISS; and donated goods run the gamut from an original Gus Van Sant photograph to being a roadie for the band Rush.

This spring alone, Benefit Auctions 360 has raised a total of $14 million—and they’ve made their own donation to every organization they’ve worked with. For many of city’s nonprofits, the money they raise in one night is what keeps their doors open throughout the year.

“Years ago, I had my very first auction with p:ear. Seconds before I took the stage, Executive Director Beth Burns came over to me. She put her hand on shoulder, squeezed it firmly, and said, ‘We’ve barely got any money in the bank. So don’t mess this up,’ ” Johnna says. “I was shocked, but it really set the tone early on for how important this work is.”

Johnna is successful any way you look at it, but she doesn’t let it get to her head. In fact, she’s anything but comfortable.

“There’s always the potential to make whatever you’re doing bigger and better. And there’s also the potential for it to unravel at the seams. It all depends on you,” Johnna says. “I’m scared every day that I’m not doing the right thing, that I’m not doing my best. I think that’s a good thing. It keeps you on your toes and makes you work that much harder.”


Check out the Benefit Auctions 360 blog for tips on fundraising, auction planning, and more.

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The 5th Annual Starry Night Gala – benefiting the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation!

September 14, 2013

We’re just hours away from launching into the 5th Annual Starry Night Gala  – a benefit for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation!




Amy Roloff, founder of Amy Roloff Charity Foundation

Amy Roloff—business professional, wife, mother   and leading lady of the hit reality television series, “Little People, Big World” on TLC,  is currently filming her 9th season, making her show the longest running family reality TV show in history, with over 275 episodes, an average of 1 million viewers per week. She’s proud to say that her personal family story and mission to promote diversity, has truly had an impact on the way the world understands dwarfism, and the differences that surround us from person to person.  Through her celebrity, Amy wanted to give back, and in 2009, she formed the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation (ARCF) to help non-profit organizations raise funds for children and youth who face social, emotional, mental and physical challenges.

Held this year at the sleek and urban, Left Bank Annex, in Portland, Oregon, guests will soon be arriving in their Mad Men inspired attire for an evening of 60s era sizzle, and the red carpet will be rolled out for treasured patrons to officially kick off this star studded gala!  Hosting the red carpet once again, will be Jeremiah Stroup, a handsome and incredibly talented host, whom will surely inspire each and every guest to open up about their reasons for coming out and supporting tonight’s fundraising auction and event for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation!

Here’s a clip from last year’s Starry Night, featuring auctioneer, Johnna Wells, and E! Entertainment and Today Show correspondent, Jason Kennedy!



Celebrating the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright – “wright” in our own backyard!

August 10, 2013

Oregon is home to many things! The stunning and captivating Multnomah Falls; the iconic Stumptown Coffee chain; the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge; and an array of food carts and breweries that make sister cities green with envy! Included within this list, and not known to as many, is a home designed by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright – The Gordon House - located in Silverton, Oregon next door to the Oregon Garden!  And tonight, August 10th, we’re thrilled to join them in their fundraising efforts to continue preserving and restoring this architectural and historical treasure!

Frank Lloyd Wright's, The Gordon House!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s, The Gordon House!

Our newest associate auctioneer, Tim Stuart will join The Gordon House tonight at their 11th Annual Fundraising Auction and Event, inspiring guests to raise their paddles high in support of the preservation and restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy here in Oregon!
The Gordon House is one of the last of the Usonian series designed for American working-class consumers, which in 1939 was considered $5,000 – $6,000 per year. Usonian is the word that Wright used to refer to his vision for the United States – wherein a distinctive visual connection is established between the interior and exterior spaces of a home, freeing the home and surrounding space from previous architectural conventions.

Frank Lloyd Wright's, The Gordon House!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s, The Gordon House!

The Gordon House is based on a design for a modern home commissioned by Life magazine in 1938, and later designed in 1957 for Evelyn and Conrad Gordon. The Gordon House was obtained by the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy in 2001, and is the only publicly accessible Frank Lloyd Wright home in the Pacific Northwest!  Today, the Gordon House Conservancy oversees the continued preservation and operation of the house as a public museum and education center! As The Gordon House has seen over 100,000 visitors since its opening, crucial restoration work still needs to be completed that will contribute dramatically to the visitor’s experience and appreciation of the Usonian house as the residence it once was, and ensure the continued preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s treasured legacy! If you’re not able to attend tonight’s fundraising auction and event, but would like to showcase support for restoration and preservation effort’s of this Oregon treasure, contact Molly Murphy of The Gordon House503/874-6006 | E-mail: gordonhouse1957@frontier.com  


Auctioneers Celebrate the 64th Annual International Auctioneers Conference & Show!

July 21, 2013

Each year, auctioneers from all over the world descend upon a chosen destination to celebrate the auction profession during the National Auctioneers Association’s International Conference & Show – a five-day educational and networking event, rich in history.  This year’s Conference & Show was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and throughout the week, Indianapolis was home to a bounty NAA c&s logoof continuing education classes, networking, fellowship, and the beloved International Auctioneer Championship -the largest bid-calling championship in the world and, the premier showcase of auction talent, hosted annually by the National Auctioneers Association. 

This year, ONE-HUNDRED AUCTIONEERS from all across the globe competed for the

prestigious title of International Auctioneer Champion, and the talent that graced the stage

iac womens

2013 IAC Women’s Division Finalists!

throughout this day-long event was phenomenal!  Auctioneers from across the globe, focusing on every facet of the auction industry, were amongst the contenders, and were joined by a panel of highly accredited and esteemed judges, who through a thorough process, evaluated each contestant on a host of criteria, including their chant, clarity, audience interaction, and poise. For those contestants that made it to the celebrated FINALS round of the IAC, each contestant took to the stage, one at a time, surrounded by hundreds of their industry peers, and were evaluated during an interview portion of the competition, as three auction industry questions were posed to each contestant independently, thereafter,  catapulting each contestant into a final round of bid calling before the final scores were tallied and our new IAC Champions were inducted into this iconic and celebrated circle.  With baited breath, hundreds upon hundreds of auctioneers waited in the audience for this year’s champions to be announced, as past IAC Champions formed a receiving line to congratulate each contestant after they exited the stage, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the International Auctioneer Championship!

International Auctioneer Champions celebrating 25 years of the IAC Competition!

International Auctioneer Champions in both the Men’s & Women’s Divisions, celebrate 25 years of the IAC Competition!

The energy in the room was palpable, and emotions were running high, as our 2013 IAC Champions were inducted into this prestigious circle – Megan McCurdy, of Wichita, Kansas, and Andy White, of Ashland, Ohio!

Megan McCurdy, 2013 IAC Champion!

Megan McCurdy, 2013 IAC Champion!

My heart-felt congratualtions to them both as they embark upon one phenomenally memorable, and life changing year serving as ambassadors for the National Auctioneers Association!

International Auctioneer Championship {Photo by 2013 IAC Champion, Andy White}

International Auctioneer Championship {Photo by 2013 IAC Champion, Andy White}

As a second-generation auctioneer, I have had the fortune of attending this celebrated conference since I was eighteen years old.  After that first Conference & Show, my Dad, Randy Wells realized how essential it was to attend this annual gathering, learning from others, and always striving to give back to an industry in which he loves. Seventeen years later, my Dad, now a past president of the National Auctioneers Association, and I, a past International Auctioneer Champion from 2005 (watch the YouTube Video here – my word I look young!), continue to find that membership in the National Auctioneers Association, and attendance and at this annual event is not only an incredible asset to strengthening the foundation of our respective professions and our industry as a whole, but attending this annual event also provides auctioneers from all over the world with an opportunity to build incredible friendships and strong alliances. Not to mention, it’s one of the few industries in which children and families are encouraged to attend together! First, second, third, fourth, and even fifth generation auctioneers gathering with their immediate and extended family and friends, celebrating industry partnerships and treasured friendships that have spanned lifetimes.

My daughter, Wrenne Larue at her 3rd Conference & Show!

My daughter, Wrenne Larue at her 3rd Conference & Show!

My daughter, Wrenne Larue attened her third Conference & Show this year, alongside my family and I. Whether or not she chooses to be involved in this profession in the future remains to be seen, but regardless, it was exciting to have three generations of our auction family represented again this year!  Though she possesses a sweet bashful spirit, she was excited to see all of the action unfolding throughout the week, as kiddos ranging in age from toddlers to teens engaged in all things auction throughout the week! In fact, the attendance of children and families is so encouraged, that the NAA hosts an annual Children’s FUN Auction, allowing kiddos of all ages, and bid calling experience, to take the stage and drop the hammer with an auction chant! Joined by past International Auctioneer Champions, and the current International Auctioneer Champions, these children pick out a variety of donated toys, and take the stage, hand in hand with an IAC Champion, and give the audience a run for their money as they unleash their auction chant in whatever way they’re comfortable. Their parents of course, bidding wildly in support of their child’s efforts and courage to take the stage with microphone in hand, and roll out their best bid call! Each dollar raised, going directly to the NAA Foundation, it is hands down my favorite part of the conference! An opportunity to cheer on the next generation of auctioneers, and celebrate this profession that we love!

The 2013 IAC Men's Division Champion, Andy White, with my little pal, Jacob Massart during the Children's Fun Auction!

The 2013 IAC Men’s Division Champion, Andy White, with my little pal, Jacob Massart during the Children’s Fun Auction!


Chance Encounters…

July 1, 2013

While en route to the BA360 office this morning, I stopped in at one of my favorite haunts next door - Food In Bloom Cafe for my “usual order”. Food & Bloom Cafe Though this locale isn’t the stomping grounds for the cast of Cheers, at Food & Bloom, everyone knows your name, the food is delicious, and on most occasions, you’re guaranteed to run into a familiar face or a treasured friend, and today’s chance encountering was a sweet surprise, and transported me back in time, when I saw the sweet, smiling face of Jensine Larsen, Founder & CEO of World Pulse. Jensine Larsen




In 2005, I had been a professional fundraising auctioneer & consultant for two years, and was just launching my own company, Benefit Auctions 360. It was at this time that I met this incredible woman, Jensine Larsen, whom had just launched a nonprofit media organization in order to present an inspiring and innovative magazine called, World Pulse.

Equipped with years of experience as a young journalist in Burma and the Amazon, Jensine Larsen discovered that some of the world’s most important stories are rarely mentioned in the mass media. So she began a quest to create a media source that would bring the vital, yet untapped, voices and solutions of women and youth to the world stage, and in doing so, the premiere issue of World Pulse Magazine debuted in 2004. Thousands of individuals and grassroots organizations took notice. Newsstand sales were double the average for new publications and the magazine was nominated for “Best International Coverage” and “Best New Title” of 2004 and 2005 by the Independent Press Awards. world pulse 2

When I first met Jensine, momentum was building behind both of our projects. The launch of her “bold and beautiful new magazine, one that would cut to the heart of global problems through the eyes of women and highlight solutions already underway” (World Pulse), and the launch of my company, Benefit Auctions 360, which was led by a passionate driving force to assist Nonprofit Organizations in their fundraising efforts, allowing them to better our communities and inspire other agents of change along the way.

My want and need to support Nonprofit’s in their fundraising efforts was infused with Anne Frank’s timeless message, “How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world,” and when I met Jensine, I immediately wanted to join her grassroots efforts to empower women through her then new media platform, because this beautiful, heartfelt, and remarkably intelligent woman was certainly not waiting a single moment before beginning to improve the world.

So it was then, shortly after the birth of my company and the arrival of World Pulse, that Jensine Larsen, Jessica Tomforde, and myself set forth for Colorado for a seed funding tour. Looking back, I think it’s safe to say that though unbeknownst to us at the time, we were part of an inaugural crowdfunding campaign.  At sold-out luncheons, Jensine spoke to captive audiences, whom were eager and honored to take part in supporting this new media platform. Bunking with friends and donors along the way, we traversed through Colorado together, collectively experiencing the beauty and powerful potential of what World Pulse was becoming thanks in part to Jensine’s vision, and the bounty of support shown by each and every donor and enthusiastic voice along the way.

I look back on that time fondly, and seeing Jensine today made me smile, pause and reflect on the phenomenal impact that she has made on women throughout the world – an action media network now powered by women from 190 countries, lifting and uniting women’s voices to accelerate their impact for the world. A platform for change, a sanctuary for those who have been silent, created by one woman who recognized that she need not wait a single minute before improving the world.



Welcome, Lauren Dully to the team of Benefit Auctions 360!

June 25, 2013

We are very excited to welcome, Lauren Dully to the team of Benefit Auctions 360! 

Lauren comes to us from Catlin Gabel School, where she served as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations. Lauren Dully HeadshotA seasoned development professional, with twenty years of expertise in Fundraising, Communications, Special Events, and Benefit Auctions, she specializes in creating approaches that engage, motivate, and inspire philanthropy.

As a Fundraising and Event Management Consultant, Lauren will be working hand in hand with clients to focus their time, energy, and resources, to their highest and best use. Her passion and proficiency for sustainable philanthropy models, grace under pressure, resourceful problem solving, excellent project management, attention to detail, and relationship building are key to Benefit Auctions 360′s art of fundraising approach.

Lauren applies her unique skills to improving the human experience and views her work as a privilege and a joy that she savors. She lives in Portland with her husband Andrew and two children. Living life to the fullest, she enjoys family-­time spent running, gardening, cooking, traveling, rooting on favorite sports teams and savoring Portland’s food scene.  I am honored to have her join our team at Benefit Auctions 360, and greatly look forward to working alongside this incredibly talented woman!

“You Will Always Find People Who Are Helping”

April 24, 2013

By: Keely Montgomery, BAS

Maybe it is the fact that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, or that I am expecting another addition to my family only months away, but I’ve been finding myself in this contemplative place surrounding the tremendous love of mothers, fathers and legal guardians. There is so much careful thought that goes into every decision surrounding our little ones. Like anything in life, as parents we do our very best in our roles and hope that the choices we make will help to create a basis that will be safe and healthy for them to leap from when our kids are more independent and making their own choices. As our youth step into this world as young adults and as older adults later on, we can only hope that they will come across the resources and people to both help and inspire them to live their lives in the most healthy and positive ways. And we hope that they will become the kind of person who will willingly lend a helping hand to others when they have the capacity to do so.

When a horrific incident like what took place in Boston last week occurs, sometimes it is tough to remember that acts of kindness are present all around us, and truly do outweigh the bad in the world.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

Here at Benefit Auctions 360, we are lucky that we don’t have to be reminded of the good in the world because those reminders come to us daily by having the opportunity to get to work with our many wonderful clients as they strive to continue to bring important programming to our communities. We are reminded of this when we meet thousands of volunteers each month at auctions and in committee meetings who are so dedicated to the cause and to the people they are serving. I will hope that my kids grow up to give back to our community just as these people are doing every day, and just as we as parents try to model to them.

Last week was an exciting one for fundraising in Portland as we partnered up with Oregon Red Cross and Dress for Success for the first time, along with joining long-time clients Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation,  We are proud to say that all three organizations achieved record-breaking numbers in funds raised at their events!

Here is a quick peek at what we’ve been up to:

The Red Cross stage was the idea of the team over at Severson Events. Below is a pic of April Severson and Heidi Kent – the two creative brains responsible for pulling together the look and feel for this event!

At Dress for Success, the highlight of the reception was the fancy Diamond Dig!

A stunning performance by the ever-talented Julianne Johnson kicked things off for the evening.

Our Principal Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, had the chance to share the stage with KGW’s Drew Carney again, who is always so much fun to work with!

We had a sea of support throughout the evening with guests supporting Dress for Success by raising their bid paddles high and proud!

The Diamond Dig reveal after the Special Appeal – everyone was a winner!

And, here I am with just some of the many, many volunteers who worked so hard to help pull together a great event!

Congrats and thank you to the whole team at Dress for Success and to Sally Dadum Bixby, owner of Philanthropy Studio for all of her hard work in pulling together such a spectacular event!


March 24, 2013

I have had the great pleasure of joining Childpeace Montessori School in their fundraising efforts for the last nine years!

Childpeace Montessori School

From the very first auction held onsite at the school prior to it’s phenomenal restoration, to the Convention Center, and Pure Space in the Pearl, year after year, Childpeace knows how to create an incredibly fun and fantastically successful fundraising auction and event!

And with this year’s theme – Portlandia, Put a Bid On It – the Childpeace auction committee and parent community had the time of their life, Portland style!

Childpeace Montessori - home of the original Portlandia:)

From the moment that guests entered Pure Space in the Pearl, they were taken into a world that was, well, purely Portland! The registration tables were flanked with Bike Lanes, hanging bike tires and the infamous “hanging shoe”, an integral part of Portland’s urban landscape.

Childpeace get's their Portlandia On!

Childpeace Montessori School Auction - Portlandia - Put A Bid On It!

As guests made their way in skinny clad jeans through the totally hip, and literally, totally Portland-esque space, they were treated to PBR’s, DIY Photo Booths,  and a sound track backed by homegrown music!

Childpeace Montessori School Auction at Pure Space in the Pearl

As is the case each and every year, Childpeace Montessori was backed by incredible support from their parent community, each guest bidding wildly on classroom projects, travel packages, and more.  One of the evening’s highlights – a total Portland, totally rad, and totally rockin’ electric guitar, previously owned (and donated) by local talent James Mercer of The Shins and Broken Bells. 

Autographed Guitar donated by James Mercer of The Shins

To take the bidding up a notch, James Mercer autographed the fashionable “trans red” six string, and had his indie industry peers drop their autograph’s as well.  The gorgeous VOX 77 featured autographs by  James Mercer of The Shins, Peter Buck from REM, Colin Meloy and Chris Funk of The Decemberists, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Eric Johnson of Fruit Bats, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, and Courtney Taylor-Taylor, lead singer-guitarist of The Dandy Warhols.


Classroom Art = A+ at Auction

We are so very fortunate to partner with  Nonprofit Organizations and Foundation’s across the fundraising spectrum at Benefit Auctions 360. And quite often, we join school foundations in their fundraising efforts as well! Through these partnerships we’re always so excited to see so many creative and talented students producing award winning classroom projects in partnership with their teachers for their upcoming school auction. 

Classroom Art Projects at the Ainsworth Red Ball

These projects are always incredibly coveted, heavily bid upon, and highly acclaimed, and year after year, students and teachers let their artistic expressions and creative intentions shine in an attempt to lovingly create a piece to include in the Live Auction, raising money for their school, and creating a treasured keepsake for the winning bidder.

Classroom Art Projects at the Ainsworth Red Ball

Over the years, we’ve certainly found that classroom projects which feature an identifying factor for each child that participated, to be very well received.  Such is the case with the Soaring Bird Project up above, which has a color coded key, featuring each child’s name and the “color” of paint that they were given creative liberty with.  A similar format was utilized on the bird below, which features each child’s fingerprint, and a color coded key complete with each child’s name listed below the image of the bird.

Classroom Art Project at St. Pius X

We’ve also found that any projects created to increase the potential for increased bidding participation to be extremely effective. The project below features photos of each child across an entire grade, expertly pieced together to form the image of a tree. By including photos of children throughout an entire grade level,  the school was able to expand upon the potential bidding base of interested bidders. When you increase interest, you expand upon your bidding base, and this potentially leads to an increase in fundraising dollars. 

Classroom Art Project at St. Pius X

Another fantastic example of classroom art is noted below. Each student wrote a poem or short compilation of their “favorite things”, and these treasured words were combined with their individual school photos, and then collaged onto canvas, a large dandelion blowing in the wind, is silk screened across the top to create an eye catching and symbolically fueled piece!

Classroom Art Project at St. Pius X

Hold on to your Hats, It’s a Cedarwood Hoedown!

The Cedarwood Waldorf parent community strapped on their boots, got all gussied up, and got their two step on in support of Cedarwood Waldorf School this March for their annual fundraising auction!

Cedarwood Hoedown

This year’s auction committee transformed Portland’s  Yale Union into an old fashion grange hall, complete with hay bails, picnic tables, mason jars filled with candle light, and strands of white lights, which hung from the rafters like tiny little stars out on the open range.

Cedarwood Hoedown at Yale Union

Cedarwood parent, owner of acclaimed Milwaukie Kitchen and Wine and Chef extraordinaire, Pascal Sauton (who was recently crowned Hottest Chef in America by Eater Nation – that’s right!) prepared a legendary feast, featuring a pig roast, and four star fixin’s fit for a king, and a campfire.

Chef Extraordinaire, Pascal Sauton {Photo Credit: www.trimet.org}

Picnic Tables & Pig Roast

This year’s committee made a commitment to reduce the number of Live Auction packages featured in the Live Auction, opting to focus more exclusively on the inclusion of their incredible classroom projects in the Live Auction, and increase collective support during the Special Appeal, which was directed towards general funding at Cedarwood to ensure that Cedarwood School and the Cedarwood community could continue to flourish and thrive as it enters its 17th year!

Placing the travel packages which traditionally resided in the Live Auction into what was called a “Platinum Silent Auction“, guests mingled about during an extended cocktail hour and lassoed their favorite travel packages in the Platinum Silent Auction section!

To rope guests into the bidding spirit at the onset of the Live Auction, rodeo roper, Leapin Louie performed a high energy comedy show featuring cowboy tricks, whips, lassos, juggling and more!

To round out the night, Cedarwood brought on the incredibly talented Caleb Klauder Band, who’s authentic vintage/contemporary country music made each guest wanna toe tap and boot scoot and boogy all night long!

Cedarwood Hoedown with the Caleb Klauder Band!



The Freshwater Trust Celebrates 30 years!

March 5, 2013

On Friday, February 22, 2013, we joined The Freshwater Trust to celebrate their thirty years of service, protecting, conserving, and advocating for our freshwater ecosystems!

The First 10 Years!

For the last thirty years, The Freshwater Trust has been changing the course of conservation, forming strategic partnerships and developing an integrated and effective approach to freshwater restoration – because healthy rivers and streams mean healthy living for us all.

The Second 10 Years!

Through ongoing science-based restoration projects that improve the health of our freshwater ecosystems, The Freshwater Trust is conducting on-the-ground restoration projects on rivers and streams in Oregon, working to  return a river to its natural state, and working with willing landowners to keep more water in our rivers and streams.

The Third 10 Years!

As the nation’s first water trust, The Freshwater Trust builds, and locally implements, the game-changing tools that will achieve freshwater health.

In celebrating The Freshwater Trust’s 30 year’s of service, supporters from throughout Oregon gathered at the Portland Art Museum, and joined by the weight of support that extended beyond the ballroom as well, guests helped to catapult the preservation and restoration of our freshwater ecosystems through their attendance, and support during the Silent Auction, Live Auction, and the evening’s Special Appeal.

Get Your Golden Tickets HERE!

Throughout the Silent Auction, The Freshwater Trust did an incredible job highlighting their Golden Tickets – a raffle inclusion, allowing for guests to purchase a raffle ticket for the chance to win any item/package featured in the Live Auction. If an Organization is to include a Golden Ticket Raffle drawing within the context of their fundraising event, it is highly encouraged that a Golden Ticket selling “station” be accessible during the Silent Auction. When the Golden Ticket station is highly visible, guests are more apt to purchase tickets because the tickets and ticket sellers are easy to locate and are more visibly accessible. Ease of access for the purchase of Golden Raffle Tickets (or any additional revenue generator) increases potential for revenue generated.

Through revenue generated by Golden Ticket sales, Silent Auction, Live Auction, and Special Appeal support, The Freshwater Trust’s annual fundraising auction and event raised over $500,000 to continue to change the course of conservation!

Hearts of Gold Through and Through

February, 21, 2013 marked Providence Child Center’s 20th Anniversary Heart of Gold Celebration, paying dear tribute to compassionate and inspiring individuals in our community whom have showcased unwavering support for Providence Child Center and The Swindells Resource Center over the years.

Hearts of Gold Shine So Brightly

Providence Child Center has been caring for Oregon’s most vulnerable children for over 60 years, and during that time, the Center has continued to grow, thrive, and expand in their commitment to promote the inherent dignity of all children by providing each child in their care with the opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential and the highest quality of life in an atmosphere of acceptance and love.

Throughout the evening, we celebrated the Swindells Resource Center, and the foundation of hope and support that they provide to families of children with special needs, providing the resources necessary for families across Oregon and SW Washington to help their special needs children reach their fullest potential!

The Swindells Resource Center

While celebrating the treasured supporters of the past, present, and future, paddles were raised high during the evening’s Special Appeal, so that a lifeline of hope, support, and resources can be provided at the Swindells Resource Center at little or no cost for any family whose child has special needs.

Artwork by Evan Patrick Kennedy - thriving through the resources available at the Swindells Resource Center

Through strategic matching challenges, and an incredible philanthropic spirit that filled Portland’s Pure Space, heartfelt support was showcased for the Swindells Resource Center to ensure that they can continue to change the landscape of support and resources for thousands of families, so that children like Evan (whose beautiful paintings are show above) can be provided with continuous and compassionate support at every stage of development, thanks to donors with Hearts of Gold whom continue to give generously, improving the lives of children with disabilities and their families.




Our House celebrates 25 years of life enriching services with a record breaking auction and event!

February 18, 2013

It has often been said, that we do not remember days; we remember moments. Though this is true, I will forever remember the day in which Our House of Portland raised over $438,000 on Saturday, February 16, 2013 to support their mission of delivering expert medical care to people living with HIV/AIDS. This day, and the perfect moments tucked within the folds of its hours, will forever remain in my heart.

Our House - You are forever in my heart. {Photo Credit: Kaileen Elise}

Like the Prom’s of our youth, every guest in attendance was filled with a youthful optimism throughout the night. An optimism that swept through the Portland Art Museum’s Sunken Ballroom during the Silent Auction, and onwards and upwards into the Kridel Grand Ballroom, filling the hearts and souls of each attendee with a lingering notion that this would be a night to remember. And it was.

Prom Night - Our House of Portland's 2013 fundraising auction and event!

Chaired by the beloved Gary Nelson and Minh Tran, Our House packed the Portland Art Museum with Portland’s finest supporters, who turned out by the hundreds, decked out in their favored Prom attire, to celebrate 25 years of Our House’s services, and showcase unyielding support for the passionate care and vital assistance which they so lovingly provide to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.

Our House Prom Chaperone, Anthony Stephano, A.K.A, Judith Rizzio {Photo Credit: Josh Wells}



Our House of Portland, PROM Night!


Benefit Auctions 360 Auctioneer, Johnna Wells {Photo Credit: Andrew Tweedie, Development Director at Our House of Portland}

Off the charts support in the Live Auction, gave way to an unforgettable performance by the incredibly talented Dale Johannes , long time supporter and treasured friend of Our House, whom performed Keep Holding On”, a memorable and captivating tribute to Our House, and their 25 years of life enriching services, expertly arranged by the handsome and heartwarming, John Oules, Director of Marketing and Communication at Our House, and Founder and Artistic Director at Live on Stage!

Thanks to our friends at Magaurn Video Media, Our House was able to shine light on their compassionate and inspiring work during the Special Appeal, as they featured the unforgettable stories of three clients whose lives had been touched by the love and support of Our House. Providing a beacon of light for every life they touch, Our House provides people with HIV/AIDS with a radiant source of strength and courage, shining a light of compassion and hope, encouraging clients to keep holding on.

With each level of giving presented throughout the course of the Special Appeal, bid paddles were unleashed in droves, each donor extending their bid cards high into the air, with pride, with love, and with a powerful belief that each donation made was truly making a difference, because it was. Every single attendee helped to light the way for those served by Our House, and for that, I humbly say Thank You. A perfect moment of authentic and passionate support, that will forever remain in my heart.

Our House of Portland {Enhanced Photo Excerpt from Magaurn Video Media}




Albertina Kerr Centers – They Rock Around The Clock!

Thousands of kids, families, and adults in our community rely on the services of Albertina Kerr, the leading provider of services to children, adults and families with emotional or mental health challenges and developmental disabilities.

Every year, Albertina Kerr relies heavily on the support from their Army of Angels at their annual Spotlight on Kerr fundraising auction and event, to ensure that they can continue to provide outstanding services to those in need.

Albertina Kerr Centers Army of Angels {Photo Credit: www.kerrangels.org}

And every year, for many, many years now, we at Benefit Auctions 360 have had the honor of joining Albertina Kerr, to stand up for our communities most vulnerable, and rally support for the work of Albertina Kerr.

This year, Kerr’s Army of Angels Rocked Around the Clock in support of Albertina Kerr at this 1950′s themed fundraising auction and event! This year’s Army of Angels rolled into the Left Bank Annex on Friday, February 15, 2013 to twist and shout, and show their support for every facet of Kerr programing!

Keely Montgomery and Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360 {Photo Credit: Paparazzi Tonight}

The Pink Satin Ladies rocked their jackets, poodle skirts and saddle shoes bee-bopped through the Silent Auction, and even Elvis made a guest appearance!

Albertina Kerr's Rock Around The Clock

Keeping with the theme at hand, Albertina Kerr incorporated some fun filled activities into the Silent Auction section! The Hop for Wine, comparable to the wine toss, was creatively reinvented to appeal to the treasured past time of the 1950s – Hopscotch!

Hop for Wine!

Also included was the Dine and Dash (comparable to the restaurant gift certificate raffles), and The Golden Ticket (a raffle option providing the winner with the opportunity to select any package from the Live Auction).  For those guests that wanted to try their hand at ALL of these opportunities, they had the chance to head over to the “Dinner” and purchase The Daily Special” – providing the purchaser with a chance to play the Hop for Wine, the Dine and Dash, Heads and Tails, and score a Golden Ticket!

Twist and Shout for Albertina Kerr!

Made complete with KPTV’s lovely and talented, Stephanie Kralevich serving as the Master of Ceremonies, a lively Live Auction, and Special Appeal, the night was still young once Kerr’s Army of Angels had raised their paddles enthusiastically in support of Kerr’s multifaceted programing. So out came the hoola hoops, the Blues Brothers, and last but certainly not least, Elvis for another whirl around the dance floor.

Though the theme may change year after year, one thing remains true, Kerr’s Army of Angels continues to grow, and continues to showcase unwavering support for Kerr to insure that Albertina Kerr can continue to rock around the clock for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, so that they may lead rich and meaningful lives and realize their full potential.

If you would like to join Kerr’s Army of Angels, visit www.kerrangels.org, and learn about the many ways in which you can showcase your support!







Young Audiences – YAY ART!

Interacting in this great big world, requires creative problem solving every day.  When a child gains exposure to enhanced creativity, instead of problems, they see potential! When a child gains exposure to the arts, instead of obstacles, they see opportunity! When a child is inspired through the arts to think outside the box, instead of challenges, they see a chance to create new and improved solutions!

YAY ART! {Photo Credit: Young Audiences}

Young Audiences is bringing artists and teachers together to ensure the arts are an integral part of our children’s educational experience, and because we at Benefit Auctions 360 are such strong supporters of the arts and arts and education based programs, we were over the moon with joy and excitement to be presented with the opportunity to join Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington with their annual fundraising auction and event, held this year on February 9, 2013!

As an artist at heart, my earliest child hood art memory was in Mrs. Reynolds first grade class. A professional artist worked with us for the week (sponsored by our local arts commission), and he spoke with us in a bold, but basic way about the power of art as a tool for expression and exploration. I remember him kneeling down beside my desk and cheering me on as I drew an elephant and a man walking through the jungle of my inspired imagination. A treasured representation of my youthful expression that I have kept to this day!

"Hard Work", by Johnna Wells back in the days of 1st Grade

Art has, and will always remain, a true treasure of my heart. And I, along with Young Audiences believes that every young person deserves to have exposure to the arts. But currently, approximately 94% of Oregon elementary schools are unable to provide visual arts courses. Luckily, Young Audiences is trying to change that statistic, which is why a showcase of support for their vital work is so very important!

This year’s Young at Art fundraising auction and event for Young Audiences was a fantastic success, and we are so honored to have had the opportunity to join them in their fundraising efforts to ensure that all children have access to arts based education!

If you missed this year’s auction and event, and would like to showcase your support for area children to have access to art based education, contact the fabulous Christi Crowley, Development Director at Young Audiences to showcase your heartfelt support! YAY ART!


Schoolhouse Supplies spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S once again!

Portland, Oregon sprang into the fundraising season of 2013, with the Onpoint Community Credit Union Celebrity Spelling Bee, presented by Comcast!  This annual fundraising event held each year in January at the Portland Art Museum, brings local celebrities into the limelight to test their spelling chops in support  Schoolhouse Supplies -  an award-winning nonprofit that supports public education in Portland by giving students and teachers free classroom supplies.

Celebrity Spellers! {Photo Credit: Joni Shimabukuro}

This year’s Celebrity Spellers included, our friend, KGW’s own, Reggie Aqui, Mayor Charlie Hales (Hales Yeah!), Oregon Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer Candace Bouchard, Dandy Warhols dandy Zia McCabe, and former Bee Champ Pat Janowski to name just a few!

As every Spelling Bee needs a panel of judges, three of the finest were pulled into the orthography mix, to ensure that each speller could accurately hold their own.  This year’s judges included our favorite man about town, Byron Beck, Timbers Army rallier Timber Joey, and the ever so witty Tyler Hughs!

Celebrity Judges - Timber Joey, Byron Beck, and Tyler Hughs {Photo Credit: Joni Shimabukuro}

As these celebs vied for the title of Portland’s Spelling Champ, deserving funds were raised for Schoolhouse Supplies, thank in part to our incredible community of supporters! Each and every paddle raised, celebrated Schoolhouse Supplies, their growth and success over the last twelve years, and their unwavering efforts to ensure that every child can have access to school supplies and a quality education.

Auctioneer Johnna Wells {Photo Credit: Joni Shimabukuro}

With the help of local businesses, the support of the community, and Schoolhouse Supplies steadfast supporters, the 2013 Celebrity Spelling Bee was able to raise close to $250,000, helping Schoolhouse Supplies to put much needed classroom supplies into the hands of our Public School children, helping them to learn, helping them to succeed, and helping them to grow! Way to go Portland!

Schoolhouse Supplies! {Photo Credit: Schoolhouse Supplies}

And Congratulations to the 2013 Celebrity Seplling Bee Winner Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols! We’ll see you back here next year, as you join the 2014 Celebrity Panel to battle for your Spelling Champ title!

2013 Celebrity Spelling Bee Winner Zia McCabe {Photo Credit: Joni Shimabukuro}



The Giving Tree

February 6, 2013

On one the most gratifying aspects of our work here at Benefit Auctions 360, is witnessing the achievements of the many organizations we have the honor of partnering with as they grow and continue to reach their fundraising goals each year.

As we look at where so many of our long-time partners stand today, and reflect upon the fact that the foundations of these organizations all began with one simple, yet powerful, ideato make a difference.  I liken these ideas to the seeds of a tree that sprout and slowly take root into the soil.  Over time these sprouts become saplings and these saplings become glorious trees. They weather the seasons and hold strong despite any obstacles that come their way.

This week, we had our initial auction planning meeting with long-time client – The Dougy Center, an organization that provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences.

In 2009, The Dougy Center lost their home and headquarters to arson. Despite the huge loss, they powered forward with  tremendous dedication to their clientele without missing one single day of service by quickly relocating into a temporary facility where they could meet with and help begin the process of healing for those children and young adults who needed their support.

After three long years and with the help of many generous donations, they have just re-opened their center on SE 52nd Avenue and as I took a tour of the beautifully constructed new facility this week, I couldn’t help but to feel overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to all of the staff that have worked so hard to carry on despite the hurdles they have faced, to all of the generosity of the donors who helped carry The Dougy Center forward, and to the many many volunteers and supporters who have helped in so many other ways!  That system of support is truly the essence of The Dougy Center in action.

The re-construction of The Dougy Center was so well thought out and truly offers a healing and safe space to move through the heavy loss and burden that is felt when grieving the death of a loved one.

One of the first things you see when walking through the front door to the building, and the piece that immediately caught my attention, is the copper, back-lit tree, showcasing many of the top donors to the Center that have been such important supporters through the many years.  This “Giving Tree,” if you will, is symbolic of so many things – starting with that one original idea to make a difference, and in how an organization like The Dougy Center has become stronger as it has shown the powerful value and importance of powering forward to continue to make a difference in the lives of those who need it so much.

Their 2013 REFLECTION GALA, is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 10, 2013 at The Portland Art Museum. Tickets can be purchased through their website at www.dougy.org


For more information about the story and history of The Dougy Center, I’ve pulled a section from their website and posted it below. It is a beautiful story:

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. A courageous boy named Dougy Turno died of an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 13. In the two months prior to his death, he was a patient at Oregon Health Sciences University, where Beverly Chappell, at the request of Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of death, dying and bereavement, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, supported Dougy and his family during his treatment. Bev quickly observed Dougy’s ability to bond with other teens facing serious medical issues, how he intuitively knew he was dying, and how he helped other kids talk about their fears. After his death, Bev envisioned a place where children, teens, and their parents coping with the death of a family member, could share their experience with others who understood, who didn’t tell them to “get over it” or judge how they chose to grieve. The first grief support groups met in Bev’s home and has grown from that grassroots effort to become a sought after resource for children and families who are grieving. It is still the only year-round child-centered program offering peer support groups to grieving families in our community.

Today, The Dougy Center serves 400 children and their 250 adult family members each month. Our 27, open-ended peer support groups meet every other week and are divided by age, type of death (illness, sudden death, murder, suicide) and who died (parent, sibling). The concurrent 27 adult support groups meet at the same time for the caregiver of the child or teen who is attending group. Since our founding, The Dougy Center has served 30,000 children, teens and their families and has received national and international acclaim for our pioneering peer support model for helping children cope with the death of a family member.

We provide educational materials about children and grief and training opportunities to local and national agencies in need of our expertise. We are widely known for our groundbreaking grief support group model, and our expertise has spread nationally and internationally. Around the world, The Dougy Center’s pioneering model has been replicated through our trainings and the trainings of programs we’ve trained. We now estimate that there are over 500 organizations worldwide that are using our peer support group model and credit the Center with their founding.

The Dougy Center relies on the generosity of individuals, businesses and foundations. We receive no government funding and are supported entirely by private donations and professional training fees. We never charge families for our services.

A Night in the Park…

September 25, 2012

{photo by andie petkus}

And what a sensational night it was! The weather was more than perfect as over 365 people to gather together under the beautiful canopy of the night’s sky at Simon & Helen Director Park to share their stories, enjoy a delicious family-style feast by Violetta Restaurant, listen to the melodic sounds of Portland Cello Project, and most importantly, to support a cause near and dear to their hearts and to all of our hearts here at Benefit Auctions 360.

Though each person may have attended the event for different reasons, there was no doubt that there was one common thread that united the evening – and that was the passionate hope for a tomorrow that is FREE OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

About four years ago, Randy Wells, BA360 Associate Auctioneer and father to Johnna Wells, was diagnosed with having MS.  Every day, we continue to be so inspired by Randy’s drive and determination to power forward, despite the emotional and physical toll that MS can often leave in its wake. He is a motivation to us in all that he is and does.

Did you know that every week about 200 people are diagnosed with MS and the highest incident rate of MS in the United States is actually right here in the Pacific Northwest? Its true.

Powered by the mission to mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected with MS, we were so enthusiastically inspired by the great show of support by the community to the National MS Society, Oregon Chapter!

{photo by andie petkus}

Together, under the stars, this community banded together and raised over $360,000!

These are funds that will help fund cutting edge research; Drive change through advocacy; Facilitate professional education; and Provide programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.

Congratulations to the team at National MS Society for your hard work leading up to your fundraising event! It was quite a magical Night in the Park!

{photo by andie petkus}

EVENT PREVIEW: Amy Roloff Charity Foundation’s Starry Night – A Little Help for a Big World fundraising event!

September 13, 2012

This Saturday, September 15, 2012, we at Benefit Auctions 360 will proudly partner with the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation for the fourth year in a row, at this year’s fundraising event, “Starry Night – A Little Help for a Big World”!

Johnna Wells and ARCF founder, Amy Roloff at the 2011 Starry Night - A Little Hope for a Big World fundraising event!

Held this year along the stunning and creative grounds of Roloff Farms, and hosted by Jason Kennedy of E! News, this annual fundraising event is one you surely do not want to miss! Amy Roloff – business professional, wife, mother, and leading lady of the hit television series “Little People Big World” on the TLC Channel, founded the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation (ARCF), and is once again putting on an incredible fundraising event of epic proportions!

ARCF Emcee, Jason Kennedy {May 23, 2010 - Source: Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America}

Inspired by her vision to make a difference in the lives of others -  Amy established ARCF in 2009 to help non-profit organizations raise funds for children and youth who face social, emotional, mental and physical challenges. Since it’s inception, ARCF has raised over $250K for local, national and international non-profit organizations and causes, certainly providing a little help for a big world!

In addition to this year’s fundraising event being held on Amy’s birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY! -  the event will feature a VIP Hour, complete with Red Carpet interviews, a Silent Auction, a creatively curated Live Auction, as well as an opportunity to showcase direct financial support for the work of ARCF!  This year’s 2012 Starry Night fundraising event will benefit, various Non Profit partners, as well as Bridge Meadows, the Swindells Center of Providence Child Center, and Soccer For Success! Though the event is virtually SOLD OUT, contact ARCF Vice President, Lisa Dixon – 503-789-9938 – lisadixon.arcf@gmail.com – to explore any opportunities to attend this incredible fundraising event, or to discuss opportunities to have your support showcased during the evenings “Moment of Giving”, an opportunity to showcase direct financial support for the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation and their beneficiaries, so that you too can provide a Little Help for a Big World!





September 11, 2012

On October 6, 2012, Benefit Auctions 360 will join an incredibly inspiring organization – Incight, for their annual fundraising auction and event, held at the beautiful and urban Pure Space, in Portland Oregon.

The team at Incight  works to connect disabled students to education and employment, providing them with an array of resources and opportunities for growth and success. The name Incight is a hybrid of the word Inciteto spark a passion, and Insightto possess intimate knowledge of a topic or situation.   Through self-empowerment, Incight is continuously providing the tools and skills for those with disabilities to advance their education, seek and obtain employment, and become active participants in their communities. Through all this, Incight’s main goal is achieved; to create contributing members of society who view life without any thought of limitations.

Each year, Incight awards up to one hundred scholarships to students with disabilities, ranging in value from $500 to $2,500,  who have demonstrated outstanding merit in giving back to the community and overcoming obstacles in order to pursue higher education.

One such scholarship recipient has gone on to do some pretty incredible things! Rob Thompson was an Incight Scholar for two years while he attend Portland Community College.  Rob studied multi-media with an emphasis in web design and video, and thereafter, began an internship with Incight in August of 2011.  Since then, he has produced some outstanding videos and podcasts for Incight, via a multimedia grant that Incight received to empower Rob to produce exciting and informative content.

One of his recent videos promoting the 2012 BACKBONES Scavenger Hunt, an event held on September 9, 2012 in Portland, Oregon, and September 29, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois, to raise awareness for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, can be found here!

If you’ve not already purchased your tickets for Incight’s upcoming annual fundraising auction and event, or you would like to have your support showcased for this extraordinary organization, contact Insight’s Executive Director, Dan Freiss -(971) 244-0305/dan@incight.org / www.incight.org.



AUCTION RECAP: The Brian Grant Foundation’s 3rd Annual Shake It Till We Make It Fundraising Auction Event!

August 31, 2012

In July, the Rose Garden, home to the Portland Trail Blazers, became a sensational red carpet, star-studded locale for the Brian Grant Foundation’s 3rd Annual Shake It Till We Make It! fundraising auction event!

{Photo Credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com}















Founded by twelve year NBA veteran Brian Grant after being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2008, Brian Grant decided to do what he had always done on and off the court – power forward! And with that, the Brian Grant Foundation was born.

Brian Grant, founder and host of the Shake It Till We Make It! Fundraising Auction and Event {Photo Credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com}

Established in 2010 just two years after his diagnosis, the Brian Grant Foundation’s basis for optimism, hope, and ongoing support for the Parkinson’s community has become an informational and inspirational resource for those affected by Parkinson’s.  Backed by Brian’s vision, and an incredible team of staff and board members, Brian Grant has created a remarkably inspiring foundation that is empowering patients, caregivers, family members, and loved ones to live more fulfilling lives with Parkinson’s.

The Brian Grant Foundation’s 3rd Annual Shake It Till We Make It! fundraising event was a dynamite two-day affair, complete with a signature celebrity gala and golf tournament, where the stars literally aligned to showcase support for an incredibly humble man, and the foundation that he has created which is helping so many to power forward with Parkinson’s.

Aldis Hodge of TNT’s Leverage served as the evenings Live Auction host, and partnered with Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360 to lead guests through a lightening round Live Auction complete with an Alaskan Adventure at the exclusive Talon Lodge and Spa, where the winning bidder was to be joined by the one and only, Brian Grant, and a surprise celebrity guest! With performances by comedian Dwight Slade, and soul diva of the Northwest, Linda Hornbuckle, guests were taken on a journey of entertainment and inspiration as they raised their paddles high to help those affected by Parkinson’s to live life to the fullest, and power forward!

Aldis Hodge of TNT's Leverage, with Auctioneer, Johnna Wells {Photo Credit: Yolette Evangeline Richardson}


Auctioneer, Johnna Wells {Photo Credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com}

Proud attendees included Steve Baack, Harry Glickman, Jerome Kersey, Meadowlark Lemon, Neil Lomax, Bill Schonely,   Mike Walter, Portland Family’s own Janna Lopez, and many more. From start to finish, guests at this 3rd Annual Shake It Till We Make It! fundraising auction and event showed their love, respect, and appreciation for the work of the Brian Grant Foundation, and collectively showcased unwavering support for the Brian Grant Foundation’s efforts to build awareness and education of Parkinson’s disease in order to increase earlier diagnosis, educate patients and their families, and provide a viable forum for people affected by Parkinson’s.

Shake It Till We Make It! 2012 {Photo Credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com}

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system caused by a change in the part of the brain that controls movements like walking and balance.  Parkinson’s disease can affect anyone, regardless of social or economic class, or geographic area. Each year, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and as many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms, and the resources available through organizations like the Brian Grant Foundation are inspiring those affected with Parkinson’s disease to live fulfilling and empowered lives.

Brian Grant {Photo Credit: www.iamatrailblazersfan.com}


AUCTION RECAP: The 23rd Annual High Desert Rendezvous!

August 20, 2012

We were back in the saddle on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the High Desert Museum’s Annual High Desert Rendezvous!

Benefit Auctions 360 at the 2012 High Desert Rendezvous!

For the eighth year, I have had the distinct pleasure of heading to Bend, Oregon for this signature fundraising auction and event, to benefit the High Desert Museum – one of the preeminent historical and cultural museums of the west!

Held off museum grounds for the first time in over eight years, attendees at this year’s High Desert Rendezvous sunk their boots and their spurs into the Horse Butte Equestrian Center! Hosted by High Desert Museum Board Member, Elizbeth McCool, the 2012 High Desert Rendezvous turned back the hands of time, bringing guests the most popular games and rodeo events from the original Rendezvous!

With additional, thematic revenue generators like a Team Branding Calcutta and Contest, Calf Roping, Quick Draw Shooting, Cast Iron Skillet Toss, and Card Games, guests quite literally had a “hay day” showcasing support for the High Desert Museum!












A Cowboy Dinner, Hosted Bar, and Live Auction featuring some of the best packages west of the Mississippi, rounded out this 23rd Annual High Desert Rendezvous! In honor of the High Desert Museum’s 30th anniversary, the Emeritus Trustees presented a collective matching challenge during the Special Appeal, matching the first 30 donors that raised their paddles at the $1,000 level of giving, dollar for dollar! With unwavering support, this matching challenge garnered over $64,000 at this level of giving alone, proving once again, that a strategically placed matching challenge that is carefully executed, can generate substantial support and continued excitement during one’s Special Appeal!











When combined with the total revenue raised throughout the evening, this 23rd Annual High Desert Rendezvous was the most successful fundraising auction and event in the museum’s history! As if the success of this fundraising auction and event wasn’t sweet enough, it was made even sweeter when coupled with the greatest honor – working alongside my father, auctioneer Randy Wells, and my mother, auction coordinator extraordinaire, Annette Wells.

My Incredible Parents - Randy and Annette Wells

Though I grew up in an auction family, we rarely have the opportunity to work onsite together, each of us often conducting our own auctions on the same night. The 23rd Annual High Desert Rendezvous allowed for our family to be back in the saddle again as well, doing what we do best, working together!

AUCTION RECAP: A Sultry Summer Night for Boys & Girls Aid!

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, the Oregon Golf Club was transformed into a sprawling oasis of fun, as Boys & Girls Aid hosted their 2nd Annual Sultry Summer Night fundraising auction and event!

For 127 years, Boys & Girls Aid has been helping thousands of Oregon’s children, finding permanent homes through adoption, and providing temporary safe places to stay through shelters and foster homes. Through the production of three fundraising auction events each year, Boys & Girls Aid’s newest fundraising event, Sultry Summer Night’s, ensures that not only is awareness raised for their statewide efforts, but that much needed funds for their critical services are also raised. As 24,000 Oregon kids, age 12 to 21 are living on the streets, paddles raised high at this auction and event supported Boys & Girls Aid’s efforts to provide children with safe places to stay temporarily through their shelter service programs, and assisted the approximate 7,000 children that are currently in foster care each night, waiting for an adoptive family. 

Joined by Miss Portland, Kaitlin Endres as the evening’s Emcee, the Sultry Summer Night’s auction and event captured a bounty of support, with both new and long term donors alike raising their paddles proudly, and joining in on the fun had when fundraising! Through a lightening round live auction, featuring twelve hand picked packages, including a Private Party for 10 People at Broadway Cigar, Co., and an Exclusive Getaway to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, critical funds were raised, with 81 cents of every dollar raised going directly to support the services of Boys & Girls Aid. With an after-party of epic proportions produced by West Coast Event Productions, the Oregon Golf Club was transformed into a poolside hot spot of entertainment, gaming opportunities and live music by the Patrick Lamb Band, to ensure that these Sultry Summer Night’s guests were the first in line to purchase their tickets for next year’s Sultry Summer Night’s fundraising auction and event!


A Little Bit of Lighting Can Go A Loooooong Way!

March 28, 2012

As a full-spectrum fundraising company, we often do not suggest that our clients devote too much of their budget toward line items that do not yield a clear return on the dollar. One such area can fall under the category of  event decor.  However, there ARE ways to set the mood or add to the thematic element of your event on a budget.  One of the most effective areas to do so is to incorporate the right kind of LIGHTING!

The photo above was taken at the recent auction and event for Childpeace Montessori School, held at Pure Space. Our local Portland rental and production company, West Coast Event Productions, helped set the mood for their theme, A Grimm & Grey Fairytale by projecting gobos of trees to allow guests to feel that they were in a forest.

At another recent auction for Lewis & Clark Law School, the students putting on the event added LED lighting on the food displays (catering was beautifully done by Mezzaluna) to help add to the Bollywood theme.

We have so many fabulous resources for lighting rentals in Portland, some of which are:

Hollywood Lighting

West Coast Event Productions


Be a Do-Gooder!

March 16, 2012

Click on Image for Source

One of the most wonderful aspects of our jobs here at Benefit Auctions 360, LLC is having the opportunity to partner with a wide range of organizations who’s collective mission is to improve upon some aspect of the world we live in.  There truly seems to be an organization for every cause and with open and carrying hearts every one of them is making our world a better place.

Often when I tell people what I do, they say something like, “Wow that sounds really inspiring to be surrounded by so much philanthropy.” And it does. But, do you want to know what feels even better? Taking part in the collective force to make the world a better place! Not only by becoming a passive do-gooder and giving to the cause that inspires you, but by taking action in our everyday lives, and by volunteering!

Our team here at BA360 recently decided to start up a regular blog post categorized under “Helping Hands.” Through this, we hope to inspire random acts of kindness and organized do-good activities that you can implement in your every day lives! This is the kind of living that we believe in! So, we hope you will join us and join that collective force to improve upon this beautiful world we live in.

Did you know that more than 200 million people around the world volunteer? The motivation to do so may come from many different places, but the important thing is that they are doing it! Over five years ago, I began volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and I was continually humbled by how much I seemed to learn from the experience about myself and about life in general. Though we are no longer enrolled in the program, as she is now in college, we continue to keep in regular contact.  My years of involvement taught me the importance of community service and most of all, I learned that our hearts don’t have limits or boundaries when it comes to love and kindness.

There are so many fabulous organizations in the Pacific Northwest and around the world just waiting for you to volunteer with them. To find out which one might be the best fit for you and which organizations currently are in need, visit www.idealist.org and start browsing through the many volunteer opportunities! It is a fantastic resource to know about — they essentially connect people who want to make a difference in our world with like-minded individuals and organizations.

Stay tuned here on our blog as we continue to share ideas on ways to make a difference and be inspired to be a do-gooder!

Portland Venue Options

February 29, 2012

Venue selection is a critically important part of your fundraising event planning! If you are new to this blog, be sure to check out our List of Portland Venues, which is constantly being updated and added to as so many fantastic new venues continue to pop up around town!

Just this last weekend, American Cancer Society held their Hope Ball in a new space to Portland – Castaway, which was beautifully done.  So, we have made sure to add the venue to the Venue Tour Section on our blog!

If you own or manage a space that you do not see listed here, please contact us with details!

Our House – They Let the Sunshine In…

February 21, 2012

It’s one thing to throw a really great party. It’s another thing to throw a great party that in all actuality is an unbelievably fantastic fundraising auction and event! And Our House of Portland has the latter perfected in every way!

The 2012 Our House auction and event was an epic celebration on every level! Co-Chairs Gary Nelson and Minh Tran, crafted a clever way to get guests into the groove of giving with this year’s theme – The Age of Aquarius! Though an event theme is only a small fraction on the color wheel of auction and event planning, Our House of Portland is truly gifted when it comes to capturing the essence of that which inspires their supporters, and utilizing that essence as inspiration to create annual events that resonate into both their donor base and throughout the Portland community!

A vital part of the Portland community since 1988, Our House has been providing a continuum of compassionate care and vital resources to people with advanced HIV/AIDS who are having difficulty managing independent living. By respecting the dignity, spirit, worth, needs and rights of everyone they touch, they have been inspiring people with HIV/AIDS to live well – celebrating life and letting the sunshine in for nearly 25 years.

And this year’s annual auction and event, The Age of Aquarius was a celebration of life and living well in its fullest form! With over 450 guests, supporters turned out in droves, ready to strut their stuff and raise their paddles high to pay tribute to the work of this treasured organization.

Our House supporter Judge Kemp, and auctioneer Johnna Wells getting into the groove of giving!

Though a theme is not in any way shape or form a solo conduit for success when it comes to fundraising (an entire year of strategic development and planning on behalf of the Our House staff, c0-chairs, board of directors, committee, and Benefit Auctions 360 was thoughtfully executed in an effort to achieve such sensational results), it can certainly put the FUN back into fundraising. And when guests are having  fun, it’s more likely that they will not only champion your celebration throughout the entire evening, but it’s also more likely that they will be moved and motivated to give financially as well!  And such was certainly the case at this year’s auction and event for Our House. Raising close to $400,000, this lively auction and event secured record breaking support from steadfast donors whose support let the sunshine in on the work of Our House, and celebrated the lives of those that they touch!

The 12th Annual Celebrity Spelling Bee spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

February 16, 2012

Every spring, the Portland fundraising auction season kicks off with Schoolhouse Supplies annual Celebrity Spelling Bee!

This year’s 12th Annual OnPoint Community Credit Union’s Celebrity Spelling Bee was wildly successful! The competition was stiff as local celebrities such as KGW News Channel 8′s own Reggie Aqui, Portland Trail Blazer, Nolan Smith, and Dave Dahl of Dave’s Killer Bread, to name just a few, spelled support for Schoolhouse Supplies in an attempt to win the coveted title Celebrity Spelling Champion!

Celebrity Contestant, Pat Janowski {Photo Credit, Joni Shimabukuro}

Donors and community supporters turned out in droves to cheer on the contestants, and showcase support for Schoolhouse Supplies – an award-winning nonprofit that supports public education in Portland by giving students and teachers free classroom supplies. As Oregon’s only volunteer-run free store for teachers, their shelves are stocked with supplies generously donated by the community, providing teachers with the classroom supplies needed to encourage the learning process for all students.

We at Benefit Auctions 360 have had the distinct pleasure of partnering with Schoolhouse Supplies for the last seven years, championing their work, and sending a message to our area youth, that we believe in the potential of every child! That we believe that every child deserves to have the tools they need to succeed!

Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360, alongside Schoolhouse Supplies Mascot, Pencil Pete!

Partnered with a Special Appeal, and our savvy celebrity spellers, our community of donors and supporters helped us to raise over $200,000 for Schoolhouse Supplies!

As the evening came to a close, Live Wire! Radio’s own, Pat Janowski became a two time champion, taking home the coveted title - 2012 Celebrity Spelling Champion!  What a night! Our sincere thanks to our community of steadfast supporters for supporting our area schools and supporting the work of Schoolhouse Supplies!

2012 Celebrity Spelling Champion, Pat Janowski {Photo Credit, Joni Shimabukuro}

Tune into OPB tonight (1/23/12) at 8PM!

January 23, 2012

If you have the opportunity to tune into OPB this evening for Antiques Roadshow, one of our Associate Auctioneers and Emcees, Judith Rizzio, will be interviewed on the show with her armoire “baby chest” as the subject of discussion. For those of you who are as big of fans as antiques and collectibles as we are here, it should be a lot of fun to watch!


What A Wonderful Year!

January 2, 2012

Wow, it’s hard to believe we just said goodbye to 2011 and are already well into 2012! We here at Benefit Auctions 360 hope you had a cozy and festive holiday season—and are excited for all that this new year will bring. We’re so looking forward to getting into the swing of 2012 with some of our favorite longtime clients as well as new ones we can’t wait to get to know better.

But first we’d like to thank all the incredible clients who made this past fall fundraising season such a thrilling success! We were honored to work on 25 events, keeping us busy supporting such important organizations: Agri-Business Council of Oregon, Albertina Kerr Centers, Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, Basic Rights Oregon, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, Boys and Girls AidBridge Meadows, Cat Adoption Team, The Circus Project, Columbia Land Trust, DoveLewis, FolkTime, IncightThe International School, Maurice Lucas Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National MS SocietyNative American Youth Family Center, Oregon Food Bank, Providence Hood River Hospital Foundation, Providence Festival of Trees, Raphael House, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Rose Festival Foundation, and Trauma Intervention Program.

We saw disco dance parties, star-studded red carpets, laugh-inducing photo booths, even an emcee running the room from a Segway transformed into a ship at The Circus Project’s “CircOdyssey.” But most of all we saw generous donors, emotional special appeals, and enthusiastic audiences getting into the spirit of giving, and over the past four months these incredible organizations raised close to $5 million to continue their remarkable work. We couldn’t be happier to be a part of such success!

Here’s to an equally as wonderful 2012!

AUCTION RECAP: Laughter is the Best (Fundraising) Medicine for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon

November 11, 2011

As fundraising auctioneers, we are always working hard to maximize the amount of financial support we can help generate at our clients’ events. But sometimes the riches come in other forms as well—like laughs.

That’s the case at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon annual Comedy Benefit, and has been every time we have the pleasure of partnering with them over the past five years. As at events in the past, this year’s 14th Annual Comedy Benefit at downtown Bend’s Tower Theater featured two nationally-recognized comedians, Jake Woodmansee and Jason Love, one getting the crowd energized before the live auction and one wrapping up the night.

It’s a great example of what we suggest to our clients: to find an entertaining and engaging theme to weave throughout the event, one that will amp up the crowd and create an exciting bidding environment when it’s time to throw out the first auction package. Indeed, BA360 Auctioneer Randy Wells kept that excitement going as he auctioned off packages like a private poker party, year-long athletic club membership, 20-bottle instant “wine cellar” and fridge, and getaways to Italy, Cabo San Lucas and Bali.

While comedy may not be the right fit for every organization and their audience, but we’ve seen it be quite the success for BBBS. After all, isn’t it the Littles (kids) who are the most natural comedians of all?

AUCTION RECAP: CAT Lands on Their Feet with New Auction Technologies

November 9, 2011

More and more this year, it’s been so fun to watch our clients incorporating new technologies into their events. We first told you about the text-to-donate service from Qtego that was used at the Basic Rights Oregon event last month. And this past Saturday, the Cat Adoption Team showcased a variety of cool text services at their annual Whisker Wonderland Gala at the downtown Portland Hilton.

In addition to a text-to-donate campaign with proceeds going to renovating the five free-roaming cat colony rooms at the no-kill shelter in Sherwood, guests could text-to-bid on the silent auction items—complete with QR codes that you could quickly snap on your phone—and text-to-buy items at the CAT store (beds, collars, and other goodies for kitties at home).


As if you needed more reason to whip out the smart phone, CAT also announced their new Android app to browse through the adorable, adoptable cats at the shelter. iPhone users will have to stay tuned…

The dinner and auction itself was a blast as well, with a lively heads and tails game before 15 live auction packages flew off the bidding block. Guests loved the getaways to Bali and Italy, of course, but also swarmed over several wine country getaways (one with a hot air balloon ride, another with a winemaking lesson), a package of 12 amazing dates, a home makeover, and everyone’s favorite, the chance to make your cat a star in the 2013 CAT calendar complete with professional portraits for your pretty kitty.

I myself was tempted with that one, since my Pippy (who I adopted from CAT in April 2010) is the cutest cat I know. Just saying!

If you couldn’t make the event, you still have a chance to give to CAT through Willamette Week‘s 2011 Give!Guide, which is out today!

See more photos and the special video from Whisker Wonderland.

AUCTION RECAP: Friday Night Alight for Basic Rights Oregon

October 12, 2011

Last Friday night was sizzling at the Portland Art Museum, as supporters gathered to celebrate Basic Rights Oregon at their annual party. The theme, IGNITE, certainly got the party fired up, and the BA360 team was thrilled to throw on our dapper suits and sassy cocktail frocks to join the fun—which all told, raised more than $260,000 in support of LGBT rights!

Kate Kendall praising the hard work of BRO during dinner at IGNITE.

This year actually involved two events in one at the Museum’s Mark Building, directed by Samantha Swaim—a move that proved quite popular with the over 900 guests. The night began downstairs in the sunken ballroom with dinner by Vibrant Table, a rousing speech by Kate Kendall, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and of course, an exciting live auction with packages that got the room buzzing. Think: an evening with Angels in America actor Wade McCollum; a visit to the Robert Reynolds Chefs Studio; getaways to Hawaii, San Francisco, and Italy; and a workout with rugby star Ben Cohen, to name a few.

BA360′s Johnna Wells on fire during the live auction!

They also took the time to pause and watch a new video to focus on a key goal of the night: to raise enough funds to run the Marriage Matters ads on statewide TV for another week. The new video showcased how minds—and hearts—can be changed to support the right to marry for all:

Meanwhile, upstairs in the Kridel Grand Ballroom, the spark for an epic dance party was getting ready to BLOW. UP. Guests stepped into the photo booth to answer the question, “What ignites you?” and then headed into the red-drenched ballroom with an illuminated bar front and center.

Guests answered the question with what matters most to them.

But even as the party heated up, the giving didn’t end, thanks to a new text-to-donate program powered by Qtego Auction. It was incredible to see the fundraising total rise exponentially on the big screens! And even as DJ Dan-o-mite and DJ Lunchlady got people to bust a move, they could still keep giving throughout the night in the spirit of celebration. It’s a promising technology that we’re excited to see in action.

Qtego-powered text-to-give gets started.

All in all, it was an event that tried new things and found that to be a roaring success! Want to see more photos of all the fun? Check out the BRO event’s Facebook page. (Thanks to Amaren Colosi, Jonny Schultz, and Rosemary Ragusa who photographed the event.)

Weekend Preview: Party for Equality This Friday

October 3, 2011

What ignites you? Equality. Family. Inclusion. Love. Community.

That’s the question that Basic Rights Oregon has been asking leading up to their annual celebration this weekend: IGNITE! A Party for LGBT Equality in Oregon. We’re so honored to be a part of this event and can’t wait to see what a rousing success it will be.

via IGNITE event site

If you’re not yet familiar with Basic Rights Oregon, the organization has worked for the past 15 years to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They have grown from a passionate grassroots movement to an even more passionate statewide nonprofit, with more than 10,000 active contributors and 5,000 volunteers. At the same time, the conversation surrounding gay marriage has risen from a whisper to a headline-making news around the country. The message has become loud and clear: marriage, a symbol of love and the foundation of family, is a right that every person should have.

via LoveCommitmentMarriage.org

With the hope of putting a measure on the 2012 ballot to overturn the state constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being only between one man and one woman, Basic Rights Oregon launched their Love. Commitment. Marriage campaign to support “the freedom to marry for Oregon.” Perhaps you’ve seen the TV spots featuring couples talking about what marriage means to them—that marriage matters.

These ads have been running in heavy rotation for two weeks, but research shows an additional third week would have the most impact to gain the vote for marriage equality. Friday night’s fundraising efforts will be focused on this goal, helping this powerful message reach more and more people throughout the state. Even if you won’t be at the sold out donor dinner and auction, you can still contribute to the cause online.

And of course, everyone is invited to join the party later that evening. IGNITE is about celebrating the hard work to grant equality to all Oregonians—we’ll toast to that! Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, live music by Laura Gibson, and dancing to DJ Danomite and DJ Lunchlady—and pssst, a few surprises—in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Grand Ballroom. Tickets are $75 and still available online until Thursday. Join us as we party for equality!

Weekend Preview: It’s Time to Celebrate Our Furry Friends

September 29, 2011

It’s fitting that I’m writing this blog with a big, purring kitty crawling all over my laptop, because it’s time for the always popular Dove Lewis Wet Nose Soiree this Saturday night!

The BA360 team certainly has a soft spot for our sweet animal companions (Johnna has her pup Oliver; Keely is mom to Belle the pug; and my aforementioned cat is named Pippy), and it means a lot to support the incredible work that Dove Lewis does to keep pets happy and healthy and honor the unique bond with their human pals.

At their largest annual event, animal lovers will enjoy an entire evening devoted to their furry best friends. Guests are even encouraged to use their pets as inspiration for their attire—perhaps a cat collar becomes a bracelet, or a dogs multi-colored coat guides the color of an entire ensemble—to “celebrate the love of your Wet Nose!”

In true Dove Lewis fashion, they’ve managed to blend the inevitable cuteness of animals with an elegant celebration at The Governor Hotel that will be the talk of the town. Tickets are still available by calling Candice Coleman at 503-535-3384 ($125 for General Admission, $175 for VIP).


Photos from last year’s Wet Nose Soiree by Erik Schultz (via Dove Lewis)

The party will begin at 6:00pm with a lively cocktail reception and extensive silent auction, including a golden ticket raffle and a “Super” silent auction with truly standout items. Of course, our own Johnna Wells will be there to lead an incredible live auction, including some must-bid packages like Blazers and Mariners tickets; a private concert; getaways to the Cannon Beach, France, and even an African Safari; and the opportunity to star with your own favorite wet nose on Dove Lewis billboards and bench ads. We think that’s pretty priceless!

BA360′s Lead Fundraising Auctioneer Johnna Wells in action at last year’s Wet Nose Soiree!

The night also features the DoveAwards, which honor the achievements of animal supporters throughout our community. It always proves to be a moving event full of laughs and a few happy tears—and will certainly have you eager to get home and hug your own furry love. Find out all the event details here. Hope to see you there!

Two Organizations, 48 hours, and Over a Half Million Dollars Raised!

September 28, 2011

Last weekend we were lucky to partner with not only one incredible organization, but two incredible organizations! Both Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and the Raphael House of Portland held their annual fundraising auction and events! And with great fan fair to boot!

On Friday, September 23, Ronald McDonald House Charities chose to “Paint the Town Red” at this year’s annual Hearts and Hands auction and event! In perfected fashion, outgoing Events Manager Kate Bowman carried this theme throughout, creating the ultimate guest experience!

From the Save The Date cards that were sent out to longtime RMHC supporters, to the hand-selected Silent Auction and Live Auction packages, this year’s event was top notch through and through!

Save The Date - Ronald McDonald House Charities

Hollywood screenwriter and Board of Trustees member, Mike Rich (well known for sensational movies such as Finding Forrester, The Rookie, and most recently, Secretariat) and fellow long time RMHC supporter and Board of Trustees member Jim Boyer were inducted into the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington Hall of Fame for their exceptional and heartfelt long-term support. That recognition for support continued on as Mike Stevens and Pacific Northwest Baking Company along with Karen and Ken Wright of Ken Wright Cellars were presented with the 2011 Partners of Distinction award.


With the creative and skilled assistance of Magaurn Video Media, both guests and honorees were presented with a compelling first hand look at those being recognized for their commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Thereafter, with a lightening round auction, backed by a Special Appeal with a Moment of Giving to showcase collective support for Ronald McDonald House Charities, we were able to surpass last years fundraising totals by $30,000!

On Saturday, September 24th, we had the good fortune of partnering with longtime client — the Raphael House of Portland for another fantastic year! A multi-faceted domestic violence agency dedicated to ending intimate partner violence for good, Raphael House of Portland held their annual Founder’s Dinner at the University Club in downtown Portland.

Hosted by longtime Raphael House supporter, and KGW News Channel 8 at Sunrise’s Brenda Braxton (who has graciously served as the evening’s host for 13 years), the event was an intimate gathering by invitation only to champion the work of the Raphael House of Portland, which has been providing a foundation of hope for a life free from family violence for more than 30 years.

Johnna Wells and Brenda Braxton at the Raphael House of Portland Founder's Dinner (Photo by Brenda Braxton)

With close to 130 guests in attendance, a brief Live Auction featuring five captivating packages, and a remarkably generous $50,000 matching challenge from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, the first reports estimated that we were able to raise over $240,000 in support of the Raphael House of Portland and in an effort to eliminate the causes of family and intimate partner violence.

An inspiring showcase of support for Raphael House of Portland (Photo by Brenda Braxton)

In total, over the course of one weekend, over $500,000 was raised in support of two remarkably deserving organizations!

AUCTION RECAP: Amy Roloff Charity Foundation’s Birthday Bash for Kids

September 21, 2011

Third time’s a charm. It goes without saying that we had a blast at the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation‘s 3rd Annual fundraising event this past Saturday, but we’ll still say it—we had a blast! From the gorgeous grounds at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club to the red carpet to the birthday cake and the, well, adorable E! News host and emcee for the evening Jason Kennedy, it was definitely a night to remember.


The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club

It’s wonderful to see Amy Roloff using her celebrity from TLC’s popular show Little People, Big World to spread the love among some wonderful local children’s charities. Over $100,000 was raised this time to benefit the Special Olympics of Oregon and two fellow BA360 clients Bridge Meadows and Providence Child Center.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with ARCF on the event for its past three years, and this year was even more special as the date also celebrated both Amy’s birthday and her daughter Molly’s birthday. Hence the amazing six-tier birthday cake and Amy’s message: “My birthday wish is for these children to have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays knowing that they are loved and supported.”


Birthday cake!

The sold-out “Starry Nights” celebration under the grounds’ Vintner’s Pavilion was by all means a celebration for those who could attend—and for all those who were able to watch everything streaming live via Ustream (what a fabulous way to engage supporters who weren’t able to make it to the event)! After red carpet photos with Amy upon their arrival, guests were energized to give generously thanks to the connections with strong local charities doing incredible work.


BA360 Principal Fundraising Auctioneer Johnna Wells & Amy Roloff on the red carpet.

The celebrity angle ran through many of the packages, including trips to Mexico and Cortona, Italy that would make anyone feel like a star. Guests also bid on a backstage tour of E! News, and front row tickets to Chelsea Lately thanks to guest and Chelsea’s righthand man, Ryan Basford. But the big highlight was a surprise birthday gift for Amy—a painting by Jocelyn, a young special needs girl from the Providence Child Center, which her mom presented during the Special Appeal. A truly wonderful moment that showcased the spirit the celebration.


AUCTION RECAP: Columbia Land Trust Ensuring a Northwest Legacy

September 16, 2011

After a summer filled with biking, hiking, camping, swimming, and simply lounging around the park—in short, enjoying all the amazing natural beauty in our vast backyard—it was especially meaningful to gather last Friday to celebrate and support the Columbia Land Trust in their work to conserve the incredible landscapes throughout the Columbia River region. It’s a cause especially close to our hearts here at Benefit Auctions 360, and we’ve been thrilled to support their fundraising efforts for the past six years.


This year, the team at CLT decided to shake things up a bit, focusing on the celebration aspect most of all for Wine & Land 2011, held at Montgomery Park. After carefully assessed their fundraising and event history with us and Samantha Swaim Fundraising, they decided to try a new approach, eschewing the silent auction, shortening the live auction to a few key packages tied to their mission, and focusing on the special appeal—all before a locally harvested feast and dance party, which were the heart of the evening. Although not the traditional model, the infectious energy and high spirits cultivated among the 230 ardent supporters fueled the fundraising efforts—nearly $150,000 was raised, well over our targeted goal!

CLT’s special appeal was especially successful because they tied the giving to a very personally meaningful theme: “Gifts We Give to Our Children.” The evening had begun with a light-hearted social hour, which of course put everyone in a festive mood, before they all took their seats for a dynamic welcome by Executive Director Glenn Lamb that touched on the four areas of CLT’s focus: repairing natural habitats along rivers and streams; conserving forests as a natural resource; supporting local farms; and, in conjunction with Three Rivers Land Conservancy, growing their Backyard Habitat Program to teach children about the abundance of nature right outside their door.

The strong connections that people have with this environment, and therefore with their support for CLT, made this start to the evening quite powerful. As Glenn said, “Columbia Land Trust is all of us, saving one of the great places on earth. We—you and me—are passing our great Northwest natural and cultural history to our children, to future generations.”

A quick live auction of three travel-related packages, including a Columbia Slough Watershed canoe excursion, got the crowd excited before the special appeal, an incredibly moving message from CLT supporter Lindsay Cornelius that conveyed the importance of preserving our beautiful surroundings for future generations.

Thanks to hard work securing many pre-committed donations, the momentum started strong for giving to secure this legacy. We were moved by the passionate support and thrilled with the generosity of so many guests. And that was just the start of the night!

After the program, guests headed upstairs to trade their own stories, laugh, and share ideas over the delicious, seasonal dinner sourced from local farms (naturally). Along with a few more ways to give and win fantastic prizes (raffles and a Wine Wall, where guests purchase a mystery bottle for $25), the Freak Mountain Ramblers stole the night away with their rollicking bluegrass/country/rock ‘n roll. What a night to dance under the soaring atrium and celebrate how lucky we are to live in the beautiful Northwest! And lucky that the Columbia Land Trust does such amazing work to keep it that way!

Photo from Columbia Land Trust.

Sagebrush and Support Spell Success for the High Desert Museum!

August 30, 2011

August 20th marked our annual excursion into the heart of Bend, Oregon as we hit the open road and traveled south for the 22nd annual High Desert Rendezvous presented by Sterling Savings Bank, the High Desert Museum’s signature fundraising gala!

For six seasons, we’ve been honored to have the opportunity to partner with the High Desert Museum for their annual fundraising auction and event – The High Desert Rendezvous, a showcase of glitz and western glory, which culminate to highlight the museum’s standing as a cultural leader in educational exhibits about the history, culture, arts, and wildlife that surround the plateau of the High Desert and areas of the Pacific Northwest.

This event is one that we at Benefit Auctions 360 look forward to each and every year! Backed by a sensational staff, and surrounded by an incredible level of community support, the High Desert Museum produces a top notch, one-of-a-kind auction and event that is as wild and beautiful as the High Desert itself!

Each year, the event space is situated in a bold and beautiful outdoor tent on museum grounds, flanked by lanterns and flickers of candlelight, the sweet smell of hay bales and brightly colored packing blankets lining the entrance, and the billowing smoke of Tri-tip on the grill serving as a compelling and rustic welcome for guests new and old.

As we geared up for this 22nd Annual High Desert Rendezvous, I reflected upon the relationship I had been fortunate enough to establish with the High Desert Museum over the years, developing both a professional working relationship, and establishing many friendships along the way as well.

It’s my personal belief that strong, successful (and of course FUN) auction and events, are often centered around long standing partnerships. When we as a company are invited to partner with an organization year after year, we are able to weave ourselves into the fabric of their mission and support base, getting to know not only the organization’s staff and volunteers over time, but developing lasting relationships with their donor base as well.  This is an area of our services that I hold proudly to at Benefit Auctions 360, for the organization’s that we partner with are those whose mission and core values we truly believe in, and thus stand behind. I’m proud to say that the majority of our clients have been long standing partners for many years, allowing our team at Benefit Auctions 360 to come to know these organizations on both a professional and personal level, which allows for our work to reside that much closer to our hearts.

The BA360 Team: Scott, Judith, Lisa, and Annette

Our time spent with the High Desert Museum over the years has truly been a delight! Getting gussied up in our Western wear, and tipping our hats in support of Oregon’s history, culture and and wildlife is one of our auction season highlights!

Scott and Johnna

And year after year, we’re able to develop stronger ties with a sensational community of supporters, that like us, wants to ensure that the High Desert Museum can continue to shine as one of Central Oregon’s most valued treasures!

The BA360 Team: Keely, Joshua, Annette, and Bob

With strategic plans in tact, a stellar Silent Auction and dynamite Live Auction showcasing a selection of packages befitting of any arts, cultural, and Western flaired fan, we charged forth into this 22nd Annual High Desert Rendezvous with confidence and a whole lot of “giddy up” in our step!

An incredible oil painting featured in the Silent Auction

The museum grounds served as the perfect mission driven locale for which to host the Silent Auction and Reception.

The High Desert Rendezvous Silent Auction and Reception

And year after year, many of Bend’s finest businesses and supporters contribute their hotest wares for the highly anticipated annual bidding war that is sure to ensue.


One of seven hand embroidered towels featured in the Silent Auction

We like to dream “BIG” here at Benefit Auctions 360. We keep our feet firmly planted on the ground, and “shoot for the moon” as we set forth with our fundraising plans for each organization, which is why the results of this year’s High Desert Rendezvous were so very sweet…

With a whirlwind of support in the Silent Auction, the Live Auction was quick to follow with thirteen signature packages, hand picked for the guests of the High Desert Rendezvous, each bringing their weight in gold at the call of “SOLD!”.  With a Special Appeal budgeted goal of $87,000, the crowd grew wild with enthusiasm as we surpassed this mark, generating over $100,000 in the Special Appeal alone, thanks in part to the remarkably generous donor support, and the strategic plan we were able to institute in advance to ensure that the Special Appeal could be strong, sustainable, and financially successful! In total, we were able to raise $50,000 more than had been budgeted, and so with that, we threw our hats high and danced to the light of the moon.

Continuing Education

August 28, 2011

We are excited to announce that Benefit Auctions 360, LLC team member, Keely Montgomery has “gone the extra mile” to offer the highest level of professionalism and the most up-to-date information by earning the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) designation.  Keely was awarded this honor in July 2011 after completing the BAS course offered through the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute.  The BAS course covers topics such as the fundraising components of the auction event, item acquisition, audience development, contractual agreements, and public relations.  Less than 1% of Auctioneers and benefit auction professionals throughout North America hold the BAS designation.


Tips for Putting Together a Successful Silent Auction!

May 16, 2011

This Silent Auction section set up by Columbia Riverkeeper is a great example of how to space out your tables and items!

One inclusion for most fundraising events is that of the Silent Auction. In this blog post, we hope to assist you in properly setting up your Silent Auction and in helping your organization to understand what it takes for your Silent Auction to reach it’s full potential for success!

Silent Auction Spacing & Set-Up: It is generally good to plan one-foot of table space per Silent Auction item. (Ex// If you have 120 silent auction items, you would need twenty (20) six-foot tables to display your items upon). Additionally, to calculate the overall square footage needed for your Silent Auction, consider that you want roughly 10 square feet per item. (Ex// Again, if you have 120 items, you would need to have at least 1200 square feet). These calculations will ensure that you end up with adequate space for your guests to move around and view all of the items.

Determining the Amount of Items: First, take your guest count and divide it by two. This number will provide you with an idea of how many Active Bidding Units (people who will be actively bidding during your fundraising event) that you might have at your auction.

Think of yourself as a guest when it comes to set-up. What type of layout is going to be easiest to navigate within the space? If you plan to section off your Silent Auction, you can use the easy method of colored balloons to differentiate the sections (ie. the Blue Section, Red Section, etc.) – flying the balloons above eye height so the sections are easy to locate. A display that is most effective is a vertical 11×17 or 8 ½x11 stand for each item, including a photo (even if the item is already on the table for those who want to do a quick glance over), a short description of the item, and the value of the package/item.

If you are planning to section off your Silent Auction, below is a chart of how to space the items out into the different sections depending on the quantity and value. Benefit Auctions 360, LLC will assist our clients with Silent Auction package suggestions and placement should this be an area where you would like additional support.


1 Mid-Range Least
2 Most Mid-Range
3 Least Most


For easy math, below is an example of how this might look if you had 100 items with a cumulative value of $6,000:


1 30 $1500
2 50 $2000
3 20 $2500


Bid Increments and Setting Your Starting Bid: As for bid increments, it is suggested to have the starting bid be 30% of the item/package value, then increase bid increments from there. It is helpful to predetermine all of the bid increments and write them into the form to make it easiest for guests to participate. The increment amount depends on the value of the item/package itself, but it is typically 10%.

So, if an item is valued at $100, you would start the bidding at $30 and increase by 10% each line thereafter, looking like this:


(and so on)

You can also offer a “Purchase Now”, or a “Guaranteed Purchase” option for guests, an option which is featured at the bottom of the Silent Auction bid sheet.  This “Purchase Now” or “Guaranteed Purchase” option consists of a purchase price that is 200-250% of the item/package value, allowing for guests to bypass the Silent Auction bidding process, ensuring that they won’t be outbid by any other guests, allowing them to purchase their favored item/package instantly! This is a popular inclusion featured at many Silent Auctions.

Benefit Auctions 360, LLC hopes that these tips help you in having a successful Silent Auction!

Trends: Step & Repeat

April 22, 2011

It’s nothing new to the event world, but “Step and Repeats” and/or Photo Booths are becoming increasingly popular inclusions at benefit auctions to present that added paparazzi flare! It is a great addition that allows your guests to get into the excitement of the evening and have something special to take home with them as a memento at the end of the night! More importantly for your organization, the inclusion of a Step and Repeat/Photo Booth is an Additional Revenue Generator to increase dollars raised at your event! It is a fundraiser you are putting together after all!

Most often, Step and Repeats/Photo Booths are placed as a destination point for guests as they enter the event, or just following the Registration and Check-In stations. This placement allows for your Registration staff to explain to your guests that they can have their photo taken right then and there, and then have the opportunity to pick the photo up at Check-Out at the end of the night!

Erin Doherty Ward, Keely Montgomery and Holly Gits are enjoying a night of fun at the 2010 Power of the Purse Auction!

The photo above was taken at the Girls Inc., 2010 Power of the Purse Auction. As you can see, a Step and Repeat/Photo Booth can be a fantastic way to include additional Sponsor incentives and opportunities, allowing for your lead sponsor(s) to have yet another avenue of exposure by placing their logo(s) on the backdrop.


Erin Doherty Ward and Keely Montgomery had their photos taken at the 2011 Public Interest Law Project Auction at Lewis & Clark College

If your auction and event has a certain theme attached to it, the Step and Repeat/Photo Booth is another way to incorporate that theme! At the recent Public Interest Law Project auction, Paparazzi Tonight (one of several photo booth service providers throughout Portland) provided thematic props and fantastic photos for guests to go along with the event’s Speakeasy/Roaring 20′s theme!


Johnna Wells and Portland Trail Blazer, Nicolas Batum at Foundation Batum's Mama of Africa Auction and Event

And finally, if your auction and event has any level of celebrity involvement, this is yet another reason why guests will want to have their picture taken at the Step and Repeat/Photo Booth! At the Foundation Batum Mama of Africa Auction and Event, which took place this past March, Portland Trail Blazer, Nicolas Batum happily posed with guests for a photo as they completed their auction and event registration and entered the event. Who wouldn’t want to have their photo taken with the charming Mr. Nicolas Batum?

If you’re interested in including this element to your upcoming auction and event, below is a short list of links to some local businesses offering the service:

Paparazzi Tonight

The Original Photobooth

If your organization already has a partnership established with a local photographer and printing company, see if you can pull together a Step and Repeat of your own to enhance your next event, and provide your premium level sponsors with an additional platform to showcase their support and involvement for your auction and event!


“Be A Kid Again” at the Portland Children’s Museum’s annual Auction and Event!

April 4, 2011

Benefit Auctions 360, LLC is proud to partner with the Portland Children’s Museum this Saturday, April 9th for their annual “Be A Kid Again” auction and event!  As a new mother, our partnership with the Portland Children’s Museum this year has truly been an exciting one! Both Scott and I look forward to sharing this community treasure with our daughter Wrenne Larue!

The Portland Children’s Museum is an interactive museum that emphasizes the importance of imagination and learning! Having hosted over 1.6 million visitors world-wide, PCM provides every child with the opportunity to view the world around them in a new light. As interaction with the museum’s exhibits is strongly encouraged, PCM makes for an exciting and creatively captivating foundation of endless possibilities for each and every child that walks through their doors!

We’re thrilled to have Benefit Auctions 360, LLC auctioneer, and grandfather to Wrenne Larue, Randy Wells, join us for this exciting evening of food and fun, as we raise crucial funds to ensure that imagination, creativity and wonder can continue to be a driving force for every child at the Portland Children’s Museum!

Save the Date: Homewaters Evolve – Native Fish Society’s 15th Annual Banquet + Auction

March 22, 2011

Mark your calendar for HOMEWATERS EVOLVE, the Native Fish Society’s 15th Annual Banquet + Auction to be held on Saturday, April 9th at Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland. This fantastic evening is in celebration of the native fish that shape our Northwest identity and inspire our tireless conservation.

Tickets are $100 each, and include excellent Widmer beer and Lange wine as well as a fantastic dinner catered by Food in Bloom. To register visit their website, www.nativefishsociety.org, or call 503.496.0807.

To view a list of the exciting Live & Super Silent Auction lineup, click HERE.

Raison d’etre. A time to pause, and reflect during the American Cancer Society’s Hope Ball.

February 28, 2011

As a Professional Fundraising Auctioneer, I am awarded the opportunity to witness and take part in countless captivating and emotionally engaging events.  Each and every nonprofit organization that we have the privilege of partnering with has a raison dêtre – a reason for existing within the community.  And with each and every auction and event that transpires, it’s our hope that as the evening comes to its inevitable close, that guests have opened their hearts to the organization’s mission at hand, and take a little piece of that nonprofit’s raison dêtre home with them.

On rare occasions, guests might even leave the event with a new perspective on their raison dêtre, and such was the case at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Ball.

The evening was filled with a love for the mission at hand – giving Portlanders the opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer while enjoying a spectacular evening of great food, drink, and a hearty lightening round Live Auction!

Like most Auction and Events, the evening also included a Special Appeal - a moment of giving which takes place during a slated portion of the time line, wherein guests can join together collectively to support the mission at hand by making a direct contribution at a level of giving that proves to be meaningful to them. When incorporated, a Special Appeal opens guests hearts and minds, creating a potential for support that is unending.

For me personally, this element always proves to be the most compelling portion of the event, for it gives the organization a chance to convey their core focus, philosophy, and funding needs to all of the guests in attendance. A Special Appeal is a remarkable opportunity to highlight the core focus of an organizations efforts, conveying their specific needs for funding, all the while  acknowledging the profoundly positive impacts that direct support and funding could provide their organization.   During this particular Auction and Event, the focus for our Special Appeal centered around The American Cancer Society’s Camp U-Kan-Du and the Cancer Survivor College Scholarship Program. During the overview of these two programs, an incredibly inspiring fourteen-year- old girl named Sara Turley bravely made her way to the stage, stood with poetic independence, and gracefully shared with the audience a humbling tale about her raison dêtre. Diagnosed with terminal cancer seven years ago, Sara conveyed her recognition that the dawn of each new day is truly a gift, and thus the present.

{photo by johnna wells}

As she accounted for the many things that she was unable to do as a result of her cancer and ongoing treatments, she made sure that she accounted for the things that she could do – two fold.  Her words, her tone, and her presence, made certain that the audience recognized that she was choosing to live - to live each minute, each hour, and with every passing day that she was given.  As I watched this beautiful young girl eloquently open up to our audience and share her story with captivated listeners, I was so very humbled by her spirit. Her tenacity and zeal for every morsel of life was an inspiration to every person in the room that night, and her passion for life in it’s present form, in all of its heartache and raw beauty, has forever changed my raison dêtre.

Come Out to Show Your Support for the American Cancer Society

February 24, 2011

Tables have been sold out for this year’s Hope Ball, but it is not too late to be able to purchase Individual Tickets for the entire evening or for the After Party!

Hope Ball is the American Cancer Society’s annual fundraiser, and gives Portlander’s the opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer while enjoying a spectacular evening of entertainment, and great food and drinks throughout the course of this auction and event! All proceeds raised through the Portland Hope Ball support the American Cancer Society’s mission of funding cancer research, education, and support programs. This research has led to life-saving information and the development of state-of-the-art technology to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

This year’s Hope Ball theme, “Arabian Nights” will allow guests to experience an evening dedicated to imagination and wonder THIS SATURDAY February 26, 2011, at Pure Space – 1315 NW Overton, Portland, OR 97209.

Watch as the talented artists of Pendulum Aerial Arts thrill the audience with stunning aerial and stage performances. What’s that jingle? It’s the sashaying belts of elegant belly dancers, moving effortlessly through the crowd. Hear that? It’s the call of the Arabian marketplace, as merchants hawk their colorful wares. Sip on the finest libations at the cocktail reception, buy a fabulous package during the Live Auction, with some of the highlights including:

  • Weekend Getaway to Napa Valley
  • One Week at Black Butte Ranch with a Round of Golf and Spa Treatment
  • A Trip to Provence – the heart of France’s Champagne Region
  • A Weekend Excursion to Washington Wine Country Via Private Jet
  • A Week’s Stay in a Puerta Vallarta Penthouse
  • Tour the Today Show with Ann Curry

During the Hope Ball Live Auction, guests have the opportunity to make a direct, tax-deductible contribution to the American Cancer Society’s Camp Ukandu as well as the Cancer Survivor College Scholarship Program during the Special Appeal Paddle Raise.

Following the Dinner and Auction, Pure Space will open up to more guests to dance the night away with Bhangra Lessons taught by Bollywood and Bhangra Dance Instructor Prashant Kakad at the Hope Ball After Party.  These After Party tickets are included with the purchase of a $250 Hope Ball Ticket, however additional tickets for those not attending the main Hope Ball event can be purchased for just $25 in advance, and include drinks and entertainment from 10:00PM until midnight! Tickets at the door are $35.

What you need to know:

Dress: Please arrive dressed in cocktail or semi-formal attire.

Parking: We have parking available in a lot located on the corner of NW 12th and Pettygrove.

What to Bring: Your dancing shoes, your credit card, and heartfelt support for the American Cancer Society!

A Record Breaking Evening with Our House!

February 23, 2011

It was an incredibly exciting evening at Midnight at the Oasis - the 2011 auction and event for Our House that took place over the weekend!

From start to finish, this magical, Moroccan themed event was an unprecedented evening filled with entertainment, indulgence, and most importantly, inspiration!  Upon arriving at the Portland Art Museum, guests were welcomed by Portland’s notorious, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who were there to remind guests that the evenings festivities were thoroughly Portland and thoroughly indulgent indeed!

{photo by keely montgomery}

Therapy llamas, Rojo and Smokey, set the perfect tone as guests entered the foyer at the Portland Art Museum. Both llamas adorned in their own Moroccan attire, provided a fun and lovingly interactive back drop for guest photos ! (The photos taken that evening will be shared with guests post-event).

{photo by keely montgomery}

A fantastic array of Silent Auction packages filled the Sunken Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum, and additional revenue generating opportunities such as a “Platinum Ticket” Raffle (a raffle opportunity wherein the winner can choose a Live Auction item/package as their prize), provided guests with endless opportunities to showcase their support for Our House - a beloved Portland nonprofit organization that inspires people with HIV/AIDS to live well by providing integrated health and housing services with compassion, collaboration, and respect.

After the Silent Auction came to a close, guests were invited up to the Kridell Grand Ballroom of the Portland Art Museum where they were enticed with the evening’s lively entertainment!

Our House has taken the traditional model of a Live Auction and Event, and has cleverly and creatively morphed that model into an Auction and Event experience like no other! Our House has shown that by weaving uniquely fabulous pieces of entertainment into the forefront of the event, that they can generate an engaging level of excitement and momentum which later serves as a fundraising catalyst as the evening progresses towards the Live Auction! One example of this was showcased in the Welcome Video that Auction and Event Co-Chairs Gary Maffei and Marc Lintner created in partnership with Magaurn Video Media.

Rather than giving basic general welcomes and sponsorship recognitions at the start of the program, Our House has created an experience for the guests that is much more visually enticing – using video footage filmed on a green screen and incorporating thematic background images, allowing the guests to travel in this instance to various parts of Northern Africa!

Below you can see “Midnight at the Oasis” Auction and Event Co- Chairs, Gary Maffei and Marc Lintner thanking their wine sponsor for the evening, while sipping it from the sweeping landscape of the Sahara Desert!  Sponsors are thrilled to be involved with an event that utilizes this kind of recognition!

Auctino and Event Co- Chairs Gary Maffei & Marc Lintner

The fantastically talented team at Magaurn Video Media can offer their expertise to put something as unique as the Our House welcome video together for your auction and event as well!

Following their special welcome video, Our House kicked off their program for the evening with a beautiful performance by Polaris Dance Company, which was concluded with fire dancers positioned on each corner of the room to heat things up a bit, adding yet more fuel and excitement to the Live Auction that was still to come!

Polaris Dance Company {photo by keely montgomery}

{photo by keely montgomery}

At the culmination of the fire performance, two striking beauties entered the ballroom carrying a treasure chest onto the stage, which was subsequently lit on fire! Out of this Moroccan treasure chest emerged the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, local actor/singer extrordonaire, Dale Johannes. Talk about an entrance!

After Dale’s emergence from the fiery treasure chest, our Principal Fundraising Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, was carried out to the stage by the same beautiful entourage that introduced the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

{photo by keely montgomery}

It’s not often that our Auctioneers make this sort of entrance to the stage, but such creative and wildly exciting elements of entertainment and thematic inclusions certainly set a decadent tone leading into the Live Auction – a stellar format that in many instances leads to fundraising success!

{photo by keely montgomery}

Once the Live Auction began, there was no stopping the energy in the room and the unwavering support for Our House. Portland’s most remarkably generous and spirited donors gathering together for one exotically entertaining evening, raising over $400,000 – an Our House fundraising record – in support of people living with HIV/AIDS. In support of Our House! And we here at Benefit Auctions 360 are truly honored to have had the opportunity to join them in that unwavering support!

Benefit Auctions 360 Team for the Our House Auction and Event!

Under the Big Top – Albertina Kerr Centers raises the fundraising roof at their Winter Carnival!

February 21, 2011

On Friday, February 18th, Albertina Kerr supporters gathered under the big top in support of our communities most vulnerable. The annual “Spotlight on Kerr” auction and event took on a bold new thematic twist this year, transforming Portland’s Pure Space (an urban venue in the Pearl District) into a Winter Carnival!

This was an evening filled with fun and festive activities, each allowing guests the opportunity to join Albertina Kerr Centers “Army of Angels”, thus supporting their core mission -to be a leading provider of services to children, adults, and families with emotional or mental health challenges and developmental disabilities.

Our Winter Carnival was packed full with supportive guests perusing through Carnival Alley, which was brimming with Silent Auction packages, Fortune Tellers, Golden Tickets (a raffle opportunity wherein guests purchase a raffle ticket for the chance to win any item/package featured in the Live Auction!), and a Wine Toss!

The Pearl District’s new event center Pure Space, served as the perfect backdrop for this fundraising fete! A blank canvas of sorts, Pure Space provided a spacious template for Albertina Kerr Centers to bring their creative and thematic ideas to light!

3 Leg Torso performed as guests made their way into the dining room to be seated for dinner, unleashing their eclectic synthesis of modern chamber music, creating the perfect setting for Albertina Kerr supporters to unleash their giving power!

As this soiree continued, new and long standing Albertina Kerr supporters joined forces, raising an approximated $90,000 in the Special Appeal alone – proving that the Special Appeal (a moment of giving during the course of a fundraising event where guests can give cash contributions to showcase direct support for the mission at hand) is an integral source of fundraising revenue!

Although the final auction and event totals are not yet in, the evening was a sweeping success! As we have said before here at Benefit Auctions 360, we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with such incredible organizations within our community, and Albertina Kerr Centers and their “Army of Angels” that stood in support of their work is such a shining example of the many stars within Portland’s nonprofit community!

Our House – Midnight at the Oasis!

February 11, 2011

On Saturday, February 19th, 2011, the Portland Art Museum will come alive with magic and wonder, as Benefit Auctions 360 gathers in support of Our House of Portland during their 2011 auction and event - Midnight at the Oasis!

Our House has been part of the Portland community since 1988 – providing healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Day in and day out, Our House of Portland is guided by compassion, inspiring people with HIV/AIDS to live well.

Event Chairs Gary Maffei and Marc Lintner are back again for another fantastic year, showcasing not only their phenomenal and heartfelt support for Our House, but also their creative eye and comic flair!  For one spectacular night, the Portland Art Museum will be transformed into an Arabian Oasis, complete with libations, live music, and of course a Live Auction, featuring Benefit Auctions 360′s auctioneer Johnna Wells.

This year’s auction is made complete with seventeen supremely sensational Live Auction packages! Here’s a snap shot of a few of the packages that are up for auction:

  • A Five-Star Cruise through the Tahitian Islands!
  • An 8 day stay at Village Paradiso on Bali’s tranquil eastern coast! An idyllic Eat Pray Love- esque retreat for up to 8 people!
  • A French Provincial Escape to the Chateauneuf du Pape! Located in Provence, France, this one week getaway will be an epic vacation for four people!
  • A six night South African Safari for two very lucky bidders! Complete with deluxe accommodations, three delicious African meals prepared daily, and viewing expeditions in an open-air rover through the Zulu Nyala reserve!

This list is just a snap-shot of the incredible packages that are up for grabs during Our House of Portland’s 2011 Benefit Auction! Visit Our House of Portland’s website for a complete list of Live Auction Packages – http://www.ourhouseofportland.org

If you’re interested in attending Midnight At The Oasis, or would like to place an absentee bid on any of their phenomenal Live Auction packages, contact James Lindquist, Development Manager at Our House, who is available at 503.595.6121 or by email at jlindquist@ourhouseofportland.org.


Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360

In this video, Benefit Auctions 360′s principal fundraising auctioneer Johnna Wells, conducts the 2010 Our House of Portland auction, the 2010 Dove Lewis’ Boutique’s Unleashed auction, and the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation auction which was featured on an episode of TLC’s Little People, Big World. Thanks to Magaurn Video Media for providing live video coverage at both the Our House of Portland auction and Dove Lewis’ Boutique’s Unleashed!

Walk the Red Carpet in support of Orphans Overseas!

January 28, 2011

We’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with incredible organizations throughout the country!  And through these partnerships, we have the opportunity to bring to auction some truly incredible packages! On February 5, 2011 we will be partnering with Orphans Overseas for their annual fundraising auction and event!

Orphans Overseas provides integrated programs for Kenya’s pregnant women, abandoned babies and the orphaned children left behind in the aftermath of the AIDS epidemic.  Additionally, they work state side  to empower and educate single mothers to break free from poverty and the need for welfare assistance, all the while developing sustainable parenting plans for healthy mother and child relationships.

On Friday, February 5th, 2011, bidders will have the opportunity to not only support the work of this life changing organization, but they will also have the opportunity to purchase RED CARPET WORTHY PACKAGES AT AUCTION! Some of these packages include:

  • A Walk-On Role on the hit TV show Raising Hope!
  • A chance to Walk the Red Carpet with the stars for the premier of The Fast and The Furious Five – to be held in either Rio de Janeiro or Los Angels! This package includes Round Trip air fare for two, hotel accommodations, and two tickets for the world premier of The Fast and The Furious Five, as well as tickets to their exclusive VIP after party!
  • Tickets to the invitation only Badgley Mischka Runway Show at Bryant Park during the September Spring 2012 Fashion Week – not to mention a show room visit and a meet and greet with the designers themselves!
  • Behind the scenes with an Emmy Award Winning  Hollywood Soundtrack Composer!

The list of these exclusive Live Auction packages goes on and on, and the count down to this auction and event has begun! Contact Laura Hildenbrand at 503-297-2006, extension 7010 to purchase a ticket for this auction and event, or to place your absentee bids!

CRAVE Portland Interview

December 8, 2010

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Crave Portland, it is a fantastic organization here in Portland with the mission to “innovatively connect urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in Portland.” Their modern marketplace of soirees, gatherings and online networking serves as an ambassador to everything there is to CRAVE about the Rose City.

In September, our Principal Fundraising Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, was interviewed by the lovely ladies over there, and at the time, we were so busy with auctions that we didn’t have the opportunity to share it with you here on the blog!  So, if you have not had the chance to read the interview, please CLICK HERE for the link!

Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Auction

November 7, 2010
BA360′s Principal Fundraising Auctioneer, Johnna Wells will be in the upcoming episode of Little People Big World! This is the second year that Benefit Auctions 360, LLC has been able to partner with the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation on their annual auction and event! Be sure to tune in! (Details are below).

Watch little people BIG WORLDon Monday, November 14th at 8:00pm/7:00pm Central!

2010 Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Golf & Dinner Event

The star-studded event included Masters of Ceremonies Ms. Amy Roloff and Jason Kennedy of E! Entertainment. Additional emcees included DJ’s Terry, Stacy Linn and Nelson from Entercom Radio, “The Buzz”, with a special tribute to Frank Sinatra™ from John “The Voice” English. Additional celebrities participants included KATU News Anchor Steve Dunn; Trailblazers Alumni-Dale Schlueter and Steve Johnson; the Portland Timbers and many more.

Visit www.AmyRoloffCF.org and contact us to be a part of next year’s event! August 21st & 22nd, 2011 at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club; Portland, OR

Welcome Little One!

October 23, 2010

(photo from allposters.com)

We are pleased to announce the highly anticipated arrival of Johnna Wells’ and Scott Conger’s baby girl! She was born on the afternoon of Friday, October 22nd. Baby and mother are both doing well! Johnna would like to extend her sincere gratitude for all of the well wishes from our wonderful clients at Benefit Auctions 360, LLC.

How to Set Up a Successful Registration/Check-Out Area at Your Auction

September 12, 2010

A Successful Registration Set-Up at the Columbia Land Trust Auction

Although Registration and Check-Out are the very first and last impressions your guests will have of your auction and event, surprisingly these areas are often overlooked in the planning process. In this post, we would like to dedicate some time to sharing with you some tried and true ways that have proven to be most effective for a speedy Registration and Check-Out process.

Timing: Remember when planning your timeline, open doors at an early enough hour to allow for both the admittance of attendees and still give them enough time to get into the Reception and walk through the Silent Auction section.

Location, Location, Location: Where you set up your Registration/Check-Out area(s) is just as crucial as how you set them. Keep in mind the number of attendees who will be arriving to and leaving your event in one small timeframe. The most convenient and effective Registration/Check-Out area is going to be somewhere near the entrance of the event venue where lines can easily flow and guests will be comfortable (ex// if guests will be standing outside waiting to get to the registration area, be sure they are protected from the elements and under tenting. If it is cold out, consider incorporating standing heaters along the way).  Keeping the Registration/Check-Out area highly visible as the very first and last obvious stopping point. This will ensure that you do not end up with a large group who skipped Registration/Check-Out altogether (Guests with no bidder numbers = less funds raised). If the venue is set up as such that it does not allow for Registration/Check-Out to be in a highly visible area, make sure to have both signage and volunteers directing traffic as guests arrive to and leave your event.

Set-Up: Although it seems like a good idea to have Registration/Check-Out stations alphabetized, the truth of the matter is that guests do not arrive and leave your event in alphabetical order. When this set-up style is implemented, it is not uncommon to find certain sections of the alphabet with long lines and others with few to no people, causing some irritation from the guests in line. This doesn’t mean alphabetizing is not a good idea. In fact, it is a GREAT idea! It just works better to be alphabetized on the back end instead of the front end.

A format that tends to work best is to set up two 6ft – 8ft tables lined together where you can station four (4) Registration/Check-Out volunteers (two at each table). At each station, a laptop, printer, and credit card terminal should be available. Every laptop should have access to all data so that each Registration/Check-Out volunteer can work with any name or bidder number.  Behind the data stations would be another set of the same sized tables, where alphabetized boxes of Registration Packets are located for easy access by any of the Registration/Check-Out volunteers. The packets might include the catalog, schedule for the evening, entrée card (if applicable), table number and bid number.

By forming a single line for Registration, guests can go from the front of the line to any one of the stations available. Your Registration/Check-Out volunteers can either be standing so they themselves can walk to the tables behind them and pick up the Registration Packets, or if you plan to have them seated, you can assign an additional volunteer to each station to pull the packet for each guest as they check-in.

Additionally, it has proven to be helpful for some groups to have a “Special Services” Registration/Check-Out Station set up for situations that might slow down a line. A few examples of where this might happen are, 1) someone is attending in place of another person and needs to be registered in the system, 2) a guest has brought additional attendees and would like to purchase tickets, or 3) the main Registration Station simply cannot locate the person’s Registration Packet. This additional station will keep the line moving at Registration, while the “Special Services” volunteer will be able to assist these guests who will require more time. The person running “Special Services” will know where the empty seats are located and at which tables he/she can place additional guests as well as be trained on how to troubleshoot other potential scenarios ahead of the event.

If you have the ability at your auction and event to have guests pre-register online with their credit card, which can make for a more smooth process, you can also utilize the following sticker system for the registration packets, which will help to further speed up the process and make sure that nothing is missed:

-       green sticker – this person can go ahead into the event

-       red sticker – still need essential information or payment info for this person

-       yellow sticker – this person may have some missing information such as email, etc.

Auction Software can be extremely beneficial for groups to use for all auction components, with Registration/Check-Out at the top of the list. Because there are so many software programs and companies available for Auction Registration/Check-Out, we will focus another post primarily on that one particular topic. In the meantime, we hope this post helps you in setting up a successful Registration/Check-Out area at your next auction!

61st International Auctioneers Association Conference & Show

August 5, 2010

This year’s annual International Auctioneers Association Conference and Show was held in Greensboro, North Carolina during the month of July. It is a time when the industry comes together to connect, share ideas, success stories and further their education by choosing from over fifty educational sessions. This was a special year for BA360’s Affiliate Auctioneer, Randy Wells. After serving as one of the Board of Directors for the National Auctioneers Association since 2003, and Chairman of the Board since 2009, Randy decided it was time to pass the torch. During the Opening Session at the Conference and Show, Randy Wells was honored by NAA President, Scott Musser, for his many years of service in contributing to the success of the organization.

{Chairman of the Board, Randy Wells, was awarded by NAA President, Scott Musser, for his many years of service.}

In other news, our BA360 Auction Coordinator, Keely Edmonson Montgomery, attended the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) course before the start of the NAA Conference and Show. The class, taught by Kip Toner of Kip Toner Benefit Auctions in Seattle, was inspiring, informative, and fun. It was an added opportunity before the start of the conference to get to know Benefit Auctioneers and Bid Spotters from around the world and talk to one another about trends in the benefit auctions industry.

{Student/Teacher dinner of the BAS July 2010 class}

In addition to the many continuing education classes offered during the Conference and Show, there were also plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with the many talented individuals in the industry.

{Left to Right: Erin Doherty Ward of Benefit Auctions 360 & Star Auctions, Paul C. Behr of World Wide College of Auctioneering, Cathy Kingston of Kingston Auction Company , and Keely Edmonson Montgomery of Benefit Auctions 360.}

Is There Such a Thing as an Auction Season?

July 2, 2010

auctioneer_line drawing

Benefit auctions typically run in seasons closely following the Public Schools Calendar – in our case, the Portland Public Schools Calendar. We have our Fall Auction Season which begins after Labor Day weekend and continues on until the Thanksgiving break, followed by the Winter Auction Season starting in late January moving through the beginning of Spring Break, and finally the Spring Auction Season following Spring Break and wrapping up in early June.

The reason for the trend of Auction Seasons is due in part to a large population of the donor base having children in school who tend to travel during the summer and school holidays.

However, this trend does not apply to all organizations. There are many groups, take for example the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, where it actually works in their favor to hold their auction in the summer months — a time when the weather lends itself to bike riding.

So, when planning your Benefit Auction, think about The Three W’s of your organization to help decide what date works best for you:

1) WHO are your donors and supporters?

2) WHAT is most appealing to your target audience?

3) WHY do guests support your cause?

Answering these three questions can help you in selecting a date that works best for your group. Happy auction planning, and remember that Benefit Auctions 360 is here to help!

Cascade AIDS Project’s 21st Annual Art Evening & Auction

May 9, 2010
{It was a treat to watch performers from Cirque Du Soleil before the Live Auction}

{It was a treat to watch performers from Cirque Du Soleil before the Live Auction}

Following a reception featuring artwork in the Silent Auction and previewing Live Auction pieces, well over 300 Cascade AIDS Project supporters trickled into a larger section of Post 419 in the Bison Building for a dinner and Live Auction. The evenings production, put together by a fabulous Event Committee and managed on the evening of the event by West Coast Event Productions, was run like a well oiled machine, moving gracefully from one part to the next. On the stage first were three performers from Cirque Du Soleil.

CAP Live Auction

Following the first of several performances by the Cirque dancers, Benefit Auctions 360′s Johnna Wells took the stage with Oregon Art Beat’s KC Cowan announcing each Live Auction piece.

{While the Live Auction was taking place, the Silent Auction remained open to other CAP supporters who did not attend the dinner}

{While the Live Auction was taking place, the Silent Auction remained open to other CAP supporters who did not attend the dinner}

It was a pleasure to work with Cascade AIDS Project on this years event, and we are happy to report that they exceeded their fundraising goals! To read more about Cascade AIDS Project and this year’s event, click HERE to read an article by Art Critic D.K. Row in The Oregonian.

2010 Annual Liberty Auction

Erin Doherty Auctioneering

{Auctioneer - Erin Doherty Ward and Emcee - Christine Alexander}

It is one of the peak times of the year now for Benefit Auctions 360 and we have been keeping very busy! During the first weekend of May, our Associate Auctioneer, Erin Doherty Ward was out from NYC to work the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health & NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Annual Liberty Auction. With a background in Women’s Studies, the event was a perfect fit for our fast-talking East Coaster.

{Benefit Auctions 360's Bid Spotters are working the floor}

{Benefit Auctions 360's Bid Spotters are working the floor}

It was another successful evening and we would like to thank our clients for bringing us on board for this years event! We look forward to having Mrs. Erin Doherty Ward out for another auction again soon.

Girls, Inc. – Power of the Purse

May 2, 2010

ariel performances

The room was alive with supporters on Friday night at the Power of the Purse auction and event for Girls, Inc.


One of the trends we have seen take place at auctions this year, perhaps in response to last year’s softer economy, is the inclusion of performances before the Live Auction begins to get the audience jazzed — and it is working! Following the close of the Silent Auction at Power of the Purse, guests were asked to take their seats, the DJ began to play Black Eyed Peas, “Tonights Gonna Be a Good Night” and ariel performers put on an awe inspiring show.

I can always pick out an event produced by Cindy Thompson Event Productions – they have more of an edge to them and are not just events, but rather full-scale productions. Kudos to Cindy Thompson and congratulations to Girls, Inc. for a successful event!


Benefit Auctions 360 immediately took the stage following the performance, moving forward with the same energy that kicked off the evening. Working with us that night was Johnna Wells as the Auctioneer, and four of our talented bid spotters: Ryan Bjornstad, Lisa Heston, Judith Rizzio, and Erin Doherty Ward.

{Johnna Wells, Judith Rizzio, Ryan Bjornstad, and Erin Doherty Ward}

{Johnna Wells, Judith Rizzio, Ryan Bjornstad, and Erin Doherty Ward}

The new Executive Director, Elizabeth Nye, shared some stories of success with the audience about the girls of Girls, Inc.

elizabeth nye

{Strong, Smart & Bold Executive Director, Elizabeth Nye, is just the right person to lead to the girls of Girls, Inc.}

To culminate the evening’s events, music legend Dionne Warwick put on quite a show.

{Music legend, Dionne Warwick performing "What the World Needs Now is Love"

{Music legend, Dionne Warwick performing "What the World Needs Now is Love"

Dionne Warwick made it possible to raise even more money following the Live Auction by having Johnna auction off a second song:

johnna and dionne

{Dionne Warwick, Erin Doherty Ward, and Johnna Wells}

{Dionne Warwick, Erin Doherty Ward, and Johnna Wells}

There were also other highlights of the evening that added just the right amount of sponteneity to further encourage guests to bid higher. Who knew that specific ingredient would have been headstands?


{Mike Chase from 99.5 the Wolf and Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson of Voodoo Doughnuts have a headstand-off}

To read more about Girls, Inc. and the Power of the Purse event this year, you can click HERE to link up with an article from The Oregonian.

Chess for Success

April 30, 2010


About ten years ago, when I first moved to Portland, I helped put together a community event for the opening of the Eastbank Esplanade.  One of the organizations participating that year was Chess for Success. Watching the many children play chess on the day of the event and witnessing the level of concentration that goes into the game regardless of all of the activity going on around them, I began to truly understand their mission: to help children develop skills necessary in school and life by learning chess.

{Willamette Week's Richard Meeker and Johnna Wells introduce the Auction Packages together}

{Willamette Week's Richard Meeker and Johnna Wells introduce the Auction Packages together}

The Chess for Success auction, A Knight to Remember, took place last night at The Nines. It was an exciting night for our BA360 Team because Erin Doherty Ward, one of our affiliate Auctioneers flew in from New York City to be with us this weekend.

{Working the event from the BA360 team were (from left to right): Erin Doherty Ward, Johnna Wells, and Joshua Wells}

{Working the event from the BA360 team were (from left to right): Erin Doherty Ward, Johnna Wells, and her brother Joshua Wells}

The guest speaker of the night, a Chess for Success success story, really brought the house down with his speech. This young man has a certain career in Public Relations and/or Speech Writing if he so chooses.

guest speaker_chess for success

Did you know that Chess for Success is one of the most effective youth organizations in Portland at accomplishing their mission? At the amount of only $75 per child (and that’s the cost to the organization – it is free for the child), students can become involved in a life-changing opportunity!

Benefit Auctions 360 is Growing in More Ways Than One!

April 22, 2010


Shortly after winning the prestigious title of 2005 International Auctioneer Champion, Johnna Wells founded Benefit Auctions 360. At the time, the venture was a one-woman operation, but Wells went into it with a grander scheme in mind for the future.

“The name Benefit Auctions 360 actually came out of my vision to work with organizations throughout their entire sphere of auction and event planning. To offer a full range of fundraising services geared towards benefit auctions of all shapes and sizes – 360 degrees of consultation and assistance if you will. This process ensures that we are able to provide organizations with the most effective and cutting edge fundraising tools and strategies for their upcoming auction and event.” – Johnna Wells

Over the past five years since the launch of her business, the Benefit Auctions 360 calendar began to fill up and Johnna seized the opportunity to carry out her original vision. Growing the business was a decision that she has navigated carefully and over time, but has since selected a handful of highly reputable Auctioneers and Consultants whose personalities and experiences match the Benefit Auctions 360 philosophy.

In addition to our founder and Principal Fundraising Auctioneer, Johnna Wells, Benefit Auctions 360 has grown to take on three additional Associate Auctioneers: Michelle LeBlanc Leckert, Erin Doherty Ward, and Randy Wells. We have also enlisted two Auction Consultants: Keely Edmonson Montgomery and Judith Rizzio. (Bios are available on our website at www.benefitauctions360.com under Company Profile).

Subsequent to the expansion of our company, Benefit Auctions 360 updated our website in late 2009 to reflect the changes. We have also recently added this blog to the site as a tool to provide our clients with helpful resources and information, such as listings of venues, event recaps, tips on auction planning, vendor profiles, and more!

We have our clients to thank for the success that Benefit Auctions 360 has seen over the past several years and the blog is one way in which we can share our appreciation for their business and to highlight some of the incredible work that they do. While it has been exhilarating to watch our company grow, it is has been equally as inspiring to witness how the many organizations we get to partner with in our work have flourished.

All of this growth could not have come at a more perfect time! While working on expanding her company over the past few years, Johnna has also been working on expanding her family at home. She and her long-time partner, Scott Conger, Executive Director of RideOn and Program Supervisor at Janus Youth Programs, are proud to announce that they are expecting a baby in October of this year! Johnna plans to work through late September and will be back to fast-talking again in November, followed by some down time during the Winter holiday season with her new family before auction season picks up again in the Spring.

April 17th: National Auctioneers Day

April 18, 2010

history of auctions

Did you know that the third Saturday in April has been declared National Auctioneers Day? Well it’s true! In the spirit of celebration for one of America’s oldest professions, we thought it would be fun to share a few facts about the industry:

  • The Live Auction industry contributes approximately a quarter-trillion dollars in sales to the US economy each year.
  • Professional Auctioneers conduct auctions every day in communities throughout the nation.
  • 97% of attendees feel that auctions are fun!

To read more studies and information surrounding the benefit auction industry specifically, visit the “press” page on our website for access to several interesting articles.

DoveLewis’ Boutiques Unleashed

April 11, 2010
{seth aaron henderson and smokey the llama}

{seth aaron henderson and smokey the llama}

On Friday, April 9th, our lovely Miss Wells modeled and auctioned for the Boutiques Unleashed event to raise money for DoveLewisPet Loss Support Program – a cause so many of us pet owners can empathize with.

In short, the organization pairs several of Portland’s media personalities with a pet and a boutique and puts together a unique fashion show experience. Both human and animal strut their stuff on the catwalk, turned llamawalk, turned bunnywalk, turned dogwalk…you get the idea.  One of the many special guests who designed high fashion apparel for the event to fit a llama and a bunny, was Portland’s own Seth Aaron Henderson from Project Runway (pictured above).

Johnna Wells and her dog Oliver on the runway

{Johnna Wells and her dog Oliver on the runway}

We would like for you to meet the BA360 mascot, Oliver, who is pictured above showing off his tricks!  Oliver comes into the office with Johnna on most days of the week and serves as our constant reminder to take it easy. He and Johnna have enjoyed being a part of the Boutiques Unleashed show for the past few years.

backstage_hair and makeup

{Hair and Makeup - Backstage at Boutiques Unleashed}

A favorite moment of mine from the event was heading backstage to watch both the pets and humans being groomed in the “Hair and Makeup” area. Above you can see that Sir Sean Connery (yes, that is the dog’s real name), the white, fluffy, poodle is being primed and primped for the runway.

{patrons peruse the silent auction table}

{patrons peruse the silent auction table}

In addition to the Live and Silent Auction, we often suggest that clients include other opportunities of giving throughout the event. Raffles can be appealing (DoveLewis raffled off a gorgeous 14k white-gold ring with a 2k genuine blue topaz, surrounded by brilliant 1/3k round diamonds – valued at $5,000), or a Wine Wall (shown below). You can see by the empty racks that the Wine Wall is a popular addition to their event).

{the wine wall}

{the wine wall}

Congratulations to DoveLewis for a successful, sold-out show! For more coverage of the show, visit PDX Neat Sheet!

{these twin girls were just too cute on the runway}

{these twin girls were just too cute on the runway}

{Physical Element's owner Jo Carter know how to strike a pose}

{Physical Element's owner Jo Carter know how to strike a pose}

{This young man is a natural}

{This young man is a natural}


Welcome Auctioneer, Erin Doherty Ward, B.A.S., C.A.I.

April 2, 2010
{Erin Doherty Ward works the crowd}

{Erin Doherty Ward works the crowd}

This post is long overdue, but Benefit Auctions 360 would like to introduce our associate Auctioneer, Erin Doherty Ward, and welcome her to our team! Erin is a highly trained Benefit Auction Specialist and Third Generation Auctioneer out of Long Island, New York.

We recently received two videos, that cover some exciting projects that both Erin Doherty Ward and her mother Jill Doherty have been involved in:

Video #1) This video, created in 2009 by artist Doug Aitken called “The Handle Comes Up The Hammer Comes Down,” shares an incredibly unique and thrilling performance by several auctioneers, including our lovely Erin Doherty Ward and her mother Jill Doherty at the Basel Opera in Switzerland.

the handle comes up the hammer comes down

Video #2) This second video link, directed by Jesse Reding Fleming during an event at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York on February 2, 2007. Doug Aitken and PopRally produced the event, which included a reception, musical performances by Cat Power, and street performers Ryan Donowho and Dishan Bharoocha, storytelling by Melissa Plout and other surprise guests. The female auctioneer you see in this video is Jill Doherty.


Cascade AIDS Project – Artist Reception

March 25, 2010

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: We feel so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with such inspired and extraordinary organizations. Tonight, we attended the Artists Reception, a prelude to Cascade AIDS Project’s 21st Annual Art Evening and Auction. The reception was held in the Gerding Theater lobby at the Armory, which is another beautiful event space we will be adding to our PDX Venue blog post.

Portland Center Stage Reception Space

{Portland Center Stage reception space}

There are going to be so many exquisite works of art to bid on in both the Live and Silent Auction. To view the online catalog for the event, click here.

Attendees mingle and view the artwork coming up for auction.

{Attendees mingled and viewed the artwork}

For every event that Benefit Auctions 360 partners in, we enjoy being able to take the time to familiarize ourselves with the auction packages and items.

{Getting to know the painting submitted by Melinda Thorsnes}

{Getting to know the painting submitted by Melinda Thorsnes}

Our Principal Auctioneer, Johnna Wells made sure to get an up-close look at all of the Live Auction artwork. I look forward to reporting back to you with an Auction Recap on the upcoming auction for Cascade AIDS Project. Not only will we be surrounded by incredible artwork (thanks to the hard work of talented Curator, Roger Hull, and the many artists who contributed), but Cirque du Soleil will also be performing that evening!

Event Venues: PDX

March 1, 2010

Venue selection is an important decision to make when planning your fundraising event. You will want to find a space that is suitable for your group’s collective personality and size (remember the 3 W’s in our Auction Planning post). There are so many things to take into consideration when selecting where you will hold your auction. Do you want a blank canvas to build into something that is all-together your own, which can require bringing in your own rentals? Or do you prefer to have an all-in-one facility for your event (the all-inclusive resort of event venues)? There is no right or wrong decision overall; it truly has to do with the needs and goals of your organization.

Below is a list (that we will continue to add to as we hear back from venues in town) listed in alphabetical order with some of the basic information we feel may be of assistance to you as you plan your event:


1900 NW 18th Avenue | Portland, Oregon

PARKING:  Yes — discuss details with venue

CATERING: Preferred List

CAPACITY: 400 guests


{photo from castaway website}


525 SW Morrison Street | Portland, Oregon 97204

(503) 802-5370

PARKING: paid structure and street parking/valet available for $10 per car

CATERING: in-house

CAPACITY: Dining Room: 200 standing reception/140 banquet | East Deck & State Room: 125 standing reception | West Deck: 150 standing reception


{image from departure website}

{image from departure website}

{image pulled from departure website}

{image pulled from departure website}

Doubletree Hotel Portland

1000 NE Multnomah | Portland, Oregon 97232


CATERING: in-house

SIZE: Over 45,000 square feet of meeting & event space

CAPACITY: (contact venue)



{Image from doubletree website}


721 NW Ninth Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 467-0792

PARKING:  some parking on-site and off-street parking

CATERING: preferred list

SIZE:  contact venue for specifics



{photo from ecotrust website}

The Gerding Theater at the Armory

128 NW Eleventh Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 445-3824

PARKING: street parking and nearby structures

CATERING: exclusive catering list

SIZE: see rental info sheet HERE

CAPACITY: see rental info sheet HERE


{photo provided by the Gerding Theater}

{photo provided by the Gerding Theater}

view from above {photo provided by the Gerding Theater}

view from above {photo provided by the Gerding Theater}

The Governor Hotel

614 SW 11th Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97205

(503) 241- 2125

PARKING: street parking and nearby parking structures

CATERING: jakes catering

SIZE: contact venue

CAPACITY: up to 700 reception | 500 sit-down (smaller spaces also available)


{photo by holland studios}

{photo by holland studios}

Hilton – Downtown Portland

921 SW Sixth Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97204


PARKING: Paid parking along street and in garage structure


CAPACITY: Several options available – (up to 1070 guests with banquet-style seating)


{Grand Ballroom - photo provided by the Hilton}



Kennedy School

5736 NE 33rd Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97211

(503) 288-3286

PARKING: on-site lot and street parking available

CATERING: in-house catering

CAPACITY: 112 banquet/120 reception


{photo provided by kennedy school}

{photo provided by kennedy school}

Left Bank Annex

101 N. Weidler, Portland, Oregon 97227

(503) 928-6437

PARKING: street parking only

CATERING: Preferred List

CAPACITY/SIZE: 14,000 square feet (3 spaces available – can be rented together or separate: The Great Room, The Club Room, The Mezzanine) Inquire with Left Bank Annex for more details.


left bank annex

{The Great Room at Left Bank Annex}

The Melody Ballroom

615 SE Alder | Portland, Oregon 97214

(503) 232-2759

PARKING: parking lot and street parking available

CATERING: in-house

CAPACITY: between 300 – 1100 people


{photo by Andie Petkus}

{photo by Andie Petkus}

Montgomery Park

2701 NW Vaughn Street | Portland, Oregon 97210

(503) 228-7275

PARKING: free parking available in lot

CATERING: preferred list

CAPACITY: contact for details


{photo pulled from montgomery park website}

{photo pulled from montgomery park website}

Nines Hotel

525 SW Morrison Sreet | Portland, Oregon 97204

(503) 222-9996

PARKING: paid parking structures

CATERING: in-house

CAPACITY: up to 540 banquet/800 standing reception (smaller spaces available also)


{image pulled from the nines website}

{image pulled from the nines website}

North Star Ballroom

635 N. Killingsworth Court | Portland, Oregon


PARKING: Street parking and a lot across the street that fits about 25 cars

CATERING: Any vendor

CAPACITY: For Auctions with a banquet dinner component and silent auction, guest capacity is 150


{North Star Ballroom Exterior - photo from N.Star website}


{North Star Ballroom Interior Set Up - photo from N.Star website}

OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry)

1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97214

(P) 503-797-4671

PARKING: free on-site parking

CATERING: in-house

CAPACITY: banquet seating 750/standing reception 2,500


{photo from The Oregonian}

{photo from The Oregonian}

Oregon Convention Center

777 NE MLK Jr. Boulevard | Portland, Oregon 97232

(503) 235-7575

PARKING: underground paid parking available

CATERING: Aramark catering services

CAPACITY: between 250 to 3500 depending on your needs


{photo from "the portland times" news blog}

{photo from "the portland times" news blog}

Oregon Historical Society

1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205

(P): 503-306-5281 / Rachel Snow

PARKING: Paid street parking

CATERING: Preferred Catering List

The Plaza (outdoor)

SIZE: 2,500 sq. ft. Outdoor Space (tenting may be required)

CAPACITY: banquet seating 160/standing reception 250

Miller Pavillion (pictured above)

CAPACITY: banquet seating 140/standing reception 250


photo courtesy of Oregon Historical Society

(photo courtesy of Oregon Historical Society)

(looking into the indoor venue)

(looking into the Miller Pavilion)


Oregon Zoo

4001 SW Canyon Road | Portland, Oregon 97221



CAPACITY: If you are putting together an auction for your fundraising event, you can utilize the Cascade Crest Banquet Center – with your silent auction in the Skyline Room, then moving into the Vista Room for your seated dinner and auction with 250 guests seated banquet-style. Other venues are available. Please contact Zoo Catering staff for details.

CATERING: In-House – Oregon Zoo Catering


Portland Art Museum

1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205

PARKING: Paid street parking and nearby parking structure

CATERING:  Vibrant Table Catering & Events



Kridel Grand Ballroom

CAPACITY:  banquet seating 560, standing reception 950

McDonald Grand Foyer (entry area to Kridel Grand Ballroom)

CAPACITY: reception 200

Fields Ballroom

CAPACITY: banquet seating 220/standing reception 400

Scott Foyer (entry area to Fields Ballroom)

CAPACITY: standing reception 200

Schnitzer Sculpture Court

CAPACITY: standing reception 300

Miller Overlook Gallery

CAPACITY: standing reception 100

Evan H. Roberts Sculpture Mall

CAPACITY: banquet seating 600/standing reception 1,500

Portland Art Museum

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

239 NW Everett | Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 228-8131

PARKING: street parking

CATERING: preferred list

CAPACITY: up to 300


{photo provided from garden website}

{photo provided from garden website}

Post 419 in the Bison Building

419 NE 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232

SIZE: 13,000 sq. ft. – clean canvas event space

CAPACITY: banquet seating 500/standing reception 800

PARKING: ample street parking on evenings and weekends


post 419

{photo pulled from Bison Building website}

Pure Space

1315 NW Overton | Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 294-0412


CATERING: Preferred List

CAPACITY: 1,000 people in a standing cocktail reception | 400 people with banquet-style with an area for your Silent Auction and Reception | If little or no silent auction, then the space can accommodate up to 550 people in banquet-style seating.


 Staver Locomotive

2537 NW 29th Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97210



Contact for all details

{photo from Staver Locomotive website}

Union Station/Wilf’s Restaurant

800 NW 6th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209

Portland, Oregon 97209

(503) 223-0070

CAPACITY: Station Lobby – 250-1000 | Rose Garden 20-400 (contact Wilf’s for more details)

PARKING: parking lots and street parking


{Union Station & WIlf's Restaurant}

{Union Station & WIlf's Restaurant}

Wonder Ballroom

128 NE Russell, Portland, Oregon

SIZE: 3,500 sq. ft.

CAPACITY:  225 banquet seating/700 standing

PARKING: street parking

ADA ACCESSIBLE: yes; not including the upper balcony

Wonder interior

{photo provided by wonder ballroom}

World Trade Center Portland

121 SW Salmon Street, 2WTC, Portland, Oregon 97204

PARKING: paid on-street parking & underground paid parking $4/hr

CATERING: in-house catering


Sky Bridge Terrace

SIZE: 4,560 sq. ft.

CAPACITY: banquet rounds 120 – 250/standing reception 200

world trade center

{image provided by trade center website}

BA360 Supports the 15th Annual Portland Roast Festival

February 19, 2010
Poison Waters & Johnna Wells join together in the Special Appeal

{photo by keely montgomery}

Johnna Wells, Principal Auctioneer for Benefit Auctions 360 (BA360), was joined by charming and vivacious local celebrity, Poison Waters, during the 15h Annual Portland Roast Festival. The event was held yesterday evening on the Trailblazers’ court at the Rose Garden Arena and was a benefit for The Portland Schools Foundation.

The Roast consisted of its usual Hacks vs. Flacks.

The Hacks: Kate Brown (Oregon Secretary of State), Randy Leonard (City of Portland Commissioner) and Ted Wheeler (Multnomah County Chair).

The Flacks: April Baer (OPB Radio), Anna Griffin (The Oregonian), and Mark Mason & Dave Anderson (KEX 1190).

Ms. Wells has donated her professional services to conduct the Special Appeal to assist in raising funds for The Portland Schools Foundation at the Portland Roast Festival event for the past two years.

Johnna Wells of Benefit Auctions 360 featured on radio show “Pam McKissick Without Reserve”!

January 9, 2010

In a world that is in a constant state of evolution and reinvention, live Auctioneering has the rare distinction of a trade that has continued to play a significant role in the sale of goods for thousands of years. And the speed, rhythm, and excitement of the Auctioneer’s chant leaves its indelible mark.  But why is it so memorable?  How is the rhythm created?  How can you become an auctioneer? Without Reserve In the two-part, mini-series of the “Pam McKissick Without Reserve” radio show, McKissick and her special guests provide answers to these questions and more while they each share their one-of-a-kind, well-perfected and melodic Auctioneer’s chant.

Benefit Auctions 360′s Founder and Principal Auctioneer, Johnna Wells had the privilege of joining Pam McKissick for this segment featured on Public Radio Exchange!

Listen to Johnna Wells’ radio segment on “Pam McKissick Without Reserve” HERE



Auction Recap: Sisters of the Road

Sisters of the Road, Live Auction with Ms. Wells {photo by andie petkus}

{photo by andie petkus}

We feel so lucky here at Benefit Auctions 360 to have the opportunity to work with incredibly committed and hard-working organizations  that are providing essential services with such great care in our community. We look forward to being able to highlight some of these organizations here on the BA360 Blog, along with sharing photos and recaps of their auctions. It is our pleasure to present to you our very first post of this kind!

In October of 2009, Benefit Auctions 360 assisted Sisters of the Road Café in celebrating 30 years of dedication to their mission: to build authentic relationships and alleviate the hunger of isolation in an atmosphere of nonviolence and gentle personalism that nurtures the whole individual, while seeking systemic solutions that reach the roots of homelessness and poverty to end them forever.

Over 350 people attended the Hoedown themed event held at the Portland Art Museum, and more than $100,000 was raised that evening for Sisters of the Road.

{photo by andie petkus}

{photo by andie petkus}

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the work of Sisters of the Road, we encourage you to take a few moments to explore their website HERE.

Honoring an extraordinary woman - Genny Nelson

{photo by keely montgomery}

The 2009 event marked two other pivotal celebrations:  1) honoring the achievements of retiring founder, Genny Nelson, and 2) celebrating the organizations 30th birthday!

golden raffle ticket

{photo by keely montgomery}

Golden Raffle Ticket Selection.

It was great to see so many guests dress to the theme.

{photo by keely montgomery}

"Uncle Earl" performing after the auction.

"Uncle Earl" performing. {photo by keely montgomery}

Congratulations to Sisters of the Road Cafe on a successful event and auction! Benefit Auctions 360 looks forward to being a part of it again in 2010.

Auction Planning

December 15, 2009
Photo by Andie Petkus

(Photo by Andie Petkus)

Last Thursday, Benefit Auctions 360 was a sponsor for the “Get Ready for Your Spring Auction” seminar held at the Melody Ballroom. The event was attended by nearly 100 people from various organizations seeking out suggestions and tips for successful auction planning. I really feel that the attendees walked away from the afternoon with some useful tips to implement that will help raise the bar in their upcoming auctions.

Sitting on the Panel Discussion that kicked off the afternoon’s conference was our very own Miss Johnna Wells there to give professional advice and answer questions from the point of view of auction planning via the successful Benefit Auctions 360 Fundraising Model.  Other panelists covering the gamut of auction planning included included Nick Apap from Royces Prop Shop (Decor and Design Production), Jon Bridenbaugh of Northwest Auction Support (Computer Rental), Michelle Holman of Auctionpay (Data Management), Clint Kaster of Smart Tech Audio Visual, Samantha Swaim of Samantha Swaim Fundraising LLC, and Kelly Russell of Kelly Russell Auctions, LLC.

Samantha Swaim did a fantastic job facilitating the event! (Photo by Andie Petkus)

Samantha Swaim did a fantastic job facilitating the event! {Photo by Andie Petkus}

In today’s softer economy, planning committees are starting to get even more creative on how to meet fundraising goals and here are some ways panelists suggested to get the most bang for your buck!


  • Nick Apap of Royce’s Prop Shop said that if you have to cut back in your decor budget, selecting focal points to decorate versus the entire space can still make a dramatic impact without overspending.
  • Pull from decor items that are already owned or have your volunteers help create centerpieces. This can help to represent the personality of your organization at the event.
  • Samantha Swaim suggested the use of LED uplighting in the event space to add that extra punch for very little money. These lights can be rented with a variety of gel colors to choose from to match your event style and theme.


  • Clint Kaster of Smart Tech AV suggested to utilize the architecture of the room to your advantage. He had a recent client who was able to use one of the wall spaces as a focal point for the PowerPoint projection. This wall space was visually interesting, provided a great foundation for the PowerPoint projection, and offset the cost of renting a projection screen, which can get expensive.
  • Some schools are able to utilize student volunteers from their theater tech department to help with the event’s A/V staff to cut some labor costs. As audio/visual needs are one of the most important inclusions in your fundraising auction, it is important to discuss this option in further detail with your audio/visual provider.
  • As the audio/visual at an auction can make or break the event, it was highly recommended by Miss Wells to not cut professional sound services out of your budget.  Miss Wells stated that “while you may save several hundred dollars by not hiring a professional sound company, you will literally loose several thousand dollars, or in some instances tens of thousands of dollars if you opt to not hire a professional audio company to outfit your venue of choice with professional audio equipment”. If your organization does not currently use professional A/V services,  strongly consider adding this to create a more successful fundraising auction and event.
Auctioneer Johnna Wells, explaining the three W's (photo by Andie Petkus)

Auctioneer Johnna Wells, explaining the three W's {photo by Andie Petkus}

The next question to the panel was “What are the hot ticket items that are going for the most money in auctions today?”:

After some discussion, it seemed as though the hot ticket items this year are trip packages (both local and far away), alcohol (instant wine cellars, starter bars, etc.), and any truly unique or universal packages that are a specific match to your audience. Because every organization has its own unique personality, Johnna Wells suggested that the organization first consider the “3 W’s: the Who, What and Why” of the event to create their own hot ticket items. Benefit Auctions 360′s 3 W’s are loosely outlined below:

  1. Who - Who are your donors and supporters? Considering the diversity amongst the organizations supporters, anticipated auction and event guests can help an organization cater to procuring packages that will be highly sought after for that particular attendance base! If your particular organization and donor base appeals to a certain niche of interests, then building packages around these particular areas of interest will create universally appealing packages. In the context of any fundraising auction, a universally appealing package will achieve greater bidding power  and fundraising results than a more subjective package.
  2. WhatWhat types of packages would be appealing to your organizations supporters and your anticipated target audience? Knowing what makes your supporters “tick” and what types of packages are particularly appealing to your anticipated guests is one of the quickest ways to ensure that your fundraising goals can be attained. As most auction committees consist of fellow organization supporters, brainstorm with your auction committee on the types of packages that they themselves would be interested in seeing at their auction if “money was no object”. This type of brainstorming will give you and your committee a great foundation to build upon when further exploring “what” types of packages would be most appealing to your anticipated auction and event guests
  3. Why – Why do guests support your cause and how can you implement this cause for support into some of your Live Auction packages? This area of brainstorming can be particularly helpful to an organization when exploring potential packages for the Live Auction. One Benefit Auctions 360 client, the Cat Adoption Team, has done an incredible job at exploring the “Why” portion of the 3 W’s in preparation for their auction and event, and have worked to create several Live Auction packages based upon the auction and event attendees connection with the Cat Adoption Team. They have created a “Cat Calendar” package for their Live Auction, which allows for a winning bidder to have their favorite cat professionally photographed during a one-of-a-kind photo shoot and then calendars are created by a designer featuring the winning bidder’s favorite photos from the shoot. Their “Cat Calendar” embodies the reason why people are attending the Cat Adoption Team’s auction and event – because they love the organization’s mission and message, they love cats, and this package prrrrrfectly blends those elements together.

The Who, What, and Why, when considered, will truly help your organization come up with package ideas that will raise the most money at your auction. Wells also used an example of her client, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. When considering their audience, it was obvious to them that because their supporters had such an interest in cycling, that the packages based around that theme would be most successful, such as Cycling Tours of Europe, or, closer to home, cycling tours through Oregon wine country! If you have not yet considered your Who, What, and Why, then start thinking about these effective areas when planning your next auction and event.

Round Table Discussions with Johnna Wells (photo by Andie Petkus)

Round Table Discussions with Johnna Wells {photo by Andie Petkus}

Be Creative in Your Fundraising: If your organization is lucky enough to procure a high value ticket item but are unsure your bidder base at the event will be able to accommodate the fundraising results you seek for that particular item, then you can actually add an online element to the Live Auction to help make sure your item(s) can reach a bidding base with spending capabilities that are parallel to your target goal for the item. Another suggestion for groups that have had a package in their event for several years and have seen its popularity go down in your audience, consider doing an “Auction Swap” with a package from another organization. Marketed to a new audience, one or the other package might be a hit!


We thank you for checking in today! So as not to bog you down with too much information in one post, we are going to focus on auction planning software in a separate post since there is so much to cover! See you back here at the BA360 Blog again soon.

An Introduction to our New Blog!

November 2, 2009
benefit auctions

{photos by keely montgomery}

In September of this year, Benefit Auctions 360 relocated our offices to a new space in the Industrial Eastside of Portland. We enjoy it so much that we wanted to be able to share it with all of our clients, and friends and family! But how, we asked? Have a party? Sure, down the line when we are not as busy attending events and raising money for our wonderful clients perhaps! How about a blog then? Sounds perfect!

With the help of interactive design group, Pail Design, we now have a newly updated website AND a lovely new blog where we can regularly share exciting Benefit Auctions 360 news and information, such as event recaps, ways with which we are involved in our community, client profiles, event vendors and venues we want you to know about, and SO much more!

Be sure to take a moment to check out updates to our website, including updated press on BA360 and our talented principal Auctioneer, Johnna Wells. You can also browse through the many faces of BA360 on our Company Profile page. One of these days we will be able to introduce you to our many talented spotters through the web as well!

We are really looking forward to having this new interactive line of communication with you and would like to invite you to share your thoughts in comments, and please always feel free to email any ideas you might have for us to cover.

Until next time…