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.