CORE’s 2023 Live and Silent Auctions Are a Huge Success!

Auction Is Win-Win for Guests and CORE!

On May 18th, CORE held our annual charity auction, which proved to be a high-energy evening full of excitement, fun, and suspense.  It was sort of like a Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction, but way better.  Our auction took place among friends and supporters, and we had great food, too!

It was our most successful auction ever.  CEO Cary McKee, when asked to comment, told us that he was overcome with gratitude by the outpouring of support for CORE’s mission:

The place was packed, sold out.  Our friends and supporters came by the hundreds with a genuine spirit of charity.  They understood what this was about.  We even tried to make the night manageable by live-auctioning fewer items, but the fundraising was higher than ever.  I’m incredibly grateful and touched by the outpouring of support for our mission.  Our supporters made this a complete success.  I want that known.  

The event kicked off with dinner, which consisted of roast chicken and pork with potato salad, coleslaw, pit beans, corn on the cob, and all sorts of yummy desserts.  Everything was so delicious!  Thus, as the auction began, the attendees had satisfied and happy tummies.  

Some really unique items were auctioned first, items like a carving set crafted by Forged In Fire champion Davy Wilson, which sold for $2,400.  But that was just for starters.  All sorts of items fetched great bids.  There were vacation packages, electronics, firearms, jewelry, artwork, and sports memorabilia, as well as gift certificates for valuables like automotive work, home repair, lawn-care, personal services, and personal care.

As Cary indicated, the bids did appear to reflect our supporters’ interest in CORE’s mission.  In fact, most of the items went for far more than their listed values.  Just one example – some pecan pies got snuck into the auction, got caught in a bidding competition, and sold for $700!  

In all, about 60 items were auctioned live.  The silent auction ran concurrently with the main event.

This year’s auction was made possible by contributions from so many persons.  First and foremost, an event this large begins with the generosity of our Sponsors and Donors.  CORE was blessed to have hundreds this year.  We proudly displayed large banners at the auction identifying and expressing our thanks to each of these persons.  We also sent out CORE E-Blasts to recognize and thank them for their generous support!

Still other persons did heavy lifting for the event itself.  We want to mention them here:

Ozarks Dynacom, our event presenter.  The Ozarks Dynacom umbrella consists of 5 Radio Stations, Smart & Simple Communication, Smart & Simple Digital Group, MoArk Sports and The Branson Podcast Network.  Their people created and broadcast our radio ad campaign that got the word out over the airwaves and helped make this auction the best yet.  They made sure that everybody in the Ozarks heard about it.

Image Works, Inc., our multi-media provider.  While there are three divisions to this company, whenever the public saw CORE’s beautifully printed forms, handouts, mailings, and banners, that’s all Image Works!  They did the designs and prints for everything.  They also created our website and E-Blasts for the auction.  From the beginning, they kept CORE’s staff right on schedule to meet the various undertakings and deadlines necessary to make this event happen.

Duane and Kay Gerken, auctioneers.  Seeing a top auctioneer at work is a thing of beauty.  Time is money, and Duane and Kay built rapport with our honored guests and kept things moving with crisp and clear auctioneering.  

Jeff Gerken and Brian Cronin, auction ringmen.  They were awesome.  Jeff and Brian took the event to the next level by calling out bids, talking to the crowd, and generating excitement and competition among the bidders. 

Alexous Hern, auction clerk.  Alexous is an account manager for a prestigious insurance firm but, on the night of the event, she volunteered her time as our auction clerk.  Her organizational skills were invaluable in recording and keeping track of all the transactions.

In addition to the above people, several persons directly connected to CORE also need to be mentioned:

Tami McKinney, our auction czar.  All the way back in January, while everybody was returning from their festive Christmas vacations, Tami already was secreted away in her special ops bunker – deep in planning.  She was masterminding this event at every conceivable level, from the molecular all the way up to the galactic.  No stone was left unturned.  Thus, in the weeks leading up to the event, “What does Tami say?” became the familiar response to every internal inquiry within CORE about the auction.  Whereupon, on auction night everything went off perfectly, without so much as a hitch, just as Tami had planned!

Christos Papanikas and Adam Yorty, our extraordinary chefs.  Christos and his team arrived to CORE the day before the auction and began prep work.  They returned early the next day, auction day, and worked steadily until the last person was served that evening.  Everything was superb.  Adam, for his part, worked out of his restaurant to prepare the scrumptious pit beans served at the event.  They were so good that they didn’t last long.  

Blake “Golden Throat” Wilson, auction emcee.  He was sort of like Ed Sullivan, only better.  We wouldn’t be surprised if he got some audio book deals out of this.

Jeremy “Sticks” Hampton, sights and sound.  Jeremy’s also a member of CORE’s Peace in the Storm worship band, and he teaches classes at CORE.  On auction night, he lent his technical wizardry to provide the magnificent audio and visuals for the event. 

Janet Weaver and Kim Stewart, auction treasurers.  They got their hustle on and cheddar up for the auction.  While that’s not entirely dissimilar from their day jobs, their presence at the auction made a most welcome impression.

CORE Second Milers, everything.  They were at our auditorium from sun up to sun down.  What didn’t they do?  These are good people to know.

All auction proceeds will go toward providing CORE recovery services.  We serve about 240 residential clients at any given time, all of whom have come to us seeking the permanent solution to chronic alcohol and drug use.  The auction helps cover the expenses of providing client necessities – the recovery and spirituality classes, recovery groups, counseling, housing, utilities, house supplies, and transportation services. 

We at CORE are grateful, humbled, and honored, by all of the contributions and efforts of everybody who made CORE’s 2023 Live and Silent Auctions a resounding success!