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!

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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:}

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:}

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:}

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:}


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!