Athletic auction to raise scholarship funds

 

JENNA LEGRED

jmlegred11@ole.augie.edu

For the past 27 years, there has been an Athletic Club auction with 100 percent of the proceedings going directly toward Augustana’s athletic scholarships .

This year, the goal is to raise $80,000.

Director of athletic develop and former Augustana athlete Jon Eng says the auction is a crucial event to help athletes at Augie.

“A large portion of the 400+ student-athletes at Augustana will benefit at least in some little way from the money raised at the auction,” Eng said.

Although most athletes receive both academic and athletic scholarships, the athletic scholarships from the auction are rewarded based solely on athletic performance.

Eng said people will bid on more than 300 silent auction items, which are very practical items and items such as sporting event tickets and gift cards. This year, there will be 10 “big ticket” live auction items to help the night move faster and make for more entertainment and conversation in comparison to previous years with up to 25 live auction items. The “big ticket” items include: a ski trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, a retreat to Phoenix, Ariz. for one week and an original painting by Sioux Falls native, Mark Anderson.

“This will make for the creation of a super silent auction.” Eng said.

At the auction, expect an “Augustana environment,” including athletic club members and people that are very supportive of the college. It’s a very enjoyable place to be, Eng said, bidding on various practical items while running into people that you know.

Junior Paul Yak, a member of the cross country and track and field team, sais the auction is important to all sports.

“It helps to bring talented athletes here, which makes Augie athletics one of the best in the nation,” he said.

In the past, the auction was held on either a Friday or Saturday night, but because athletes travel more on the weekend, this year’s auction is being held on a Thursday night. Eng hopes the date change will make the event more accessible to everyone.

“It would be impossible without the 40 to 50 volunteers and area businesses,” Eng said. “We are fortunate to be in Sioux Falls and have area businesses help. Volunteers, donors and businesses are the three keeys of success.”

Volunteers call over 300 area businesses and then pick up the items for the auction.

The auction also consists of a personal touch with athletes and coaches present. This allows for the people in the community to meet them, face-to-face and have a more personal interaction.

The auction will be held March 7, 2013 at the Ramkota Inn Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls. The event includes a silent and live auction and a buffet dinner. Individual registration is $60 and the social hour begins at 6 p.m.