Reigning International Auctioneer Champions Cary Aasness and Johnna Wells are proud to display their championship trophies and signature rings they won as part of their prize package during the International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) in July. The $10,000 in cash was another great prize.
But they both agree that their best prize is yet to come.
On Monday, Nov. 7, the auctioneers will host the National Auctioneers Association’s (NAA) 10th Annual Toy Auction at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. The event brings fun and excitement to the patients at St. Jude’s and, most importantly, toys. It’s a simulated auction where children use play money to vie for a wide array of new, donated toys. Aasness and Wells will use their refined chants to “sell” the toys to the pint-sized crowd.
“I’m really looking forward to this event,” said Wells, owner and manager of Benefit Auctions 360 in Portland, Ore. “It will most definitely be the highlight of my year.”
Aasness, owner and manager of Aasness Auctioneers in Dalton, Minn., wholeheartedly agrees. He said his goal is to create a positive and fun experience for the children and to help them forget about their illnesses for a few hours.
The fast-paced event covers many aspects of the auction experience from bidder registration to friendly bidder competition. Toys are lined up on tables so the children can scope out items for which they would like to bid.
The Toy Auction is just one way the NAA works to help further the hospital’s mission of conducting research and treating children with life-threatening illnesses. Since 1995, the NAA has raised more than $3.5 million for St. Jude. Throughout the year, NAA members carry out “Get Sold on St. Jude” fundraisers or designate money raised from certain specialty items at their auctions for the hospital.
With more than 6,200 members from throughout the world, the National Auctioneers Association is the largest organization of its kind dedicated to promoting the auction method of marketing and enhancing the professionalism of its members. Member benefits range from federal legislative representation to comprehensive continuing education programs. For more information on the NAA and its programs, log on to www.auctioneers.org.