Many conferences and festivals struggle with funding to continue their activities. In addition to fees for attending and revenue generated by vendors Midwest Herb Fest has added a fun and social event to help support infrastructure upgrades at Our Haven.
Several years ago while attending my first MWHF I heard talk of a benefit auction and since I was a guest at this festival I offered to lend my experience and knowledge as a trained auctioneer to their efforts.
What has grown out of these early events when attendees would donate mostly used items for the auction is nothing short of amazing. With the help and participation of many vendors and attendees our annual benefit auction has turned into a well attended social event for both adults and children.
As our auction grew more and more attendees were donating new items, items pertaining to camping, cooking, sporting goods and of course herbal related and hand crafted items. Our vendors stepped up to the plate as well and began donating items which in turn increased their business when people had a chance to see how generous the vendors really are!
2 years ago the kids asked if they could have an auction of their own because they were having way to much fun watching their parents and really wanted to particiapte. Soooo, with the tremendous support and assistance of my wife Nicole, and several other parents last year we held a Kids Auction prior to the adult event. It was a tremendous success and with some tweaking we are planning an auction for the kids that is not only fun but educational as well!
Each child above 4 and below 14 gets $10 in Our Haven Auction Bucks (OHAB) when they arrive on the grounds. This is so all kids have something to start with and no child is left out due to family financial constraints or affluence. No real money is accepted at the Kids auction and the kids then have an opportunity to earn more OHAB by doing chores for any adult that has a project or vendors that need help with set-up etc. Each adult and vendor will recieve $20 in OHAB that they may use to pay the kids or as door prizes in their booths etc.
Now for the educational part...
The kids learn very quickly how to bid, watch their money so they have enough to buy the items they want and how to negotiate with the other kids so that everyone gets something they really want. They also learn to count their monies and how watching other bidders can sometimes tell them something. In addition they learn sharing and community, so it is a win-win!
This has proven to be a fantastic fund raiser and social event that draws many festival participants to a real Community Event. I would like to thank All Roads Imports, Earth Circle Creations, Laughing Lady Bug Botanicals and many more people and vendors that make this all possible!
If you would care to donate items for this years auction at MWHF10 or need more information just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!