With tracks closed to spectators, I asked our ambassadors to find a different way to engage the community. Over the past two months, we’ve had an assortment of activities: a mock award ceremony held pool-side (and virtually) in Florida, online trivia contests, history discussions, and an auction of thoroughbred memorabilia.
Maryland ambassador, Don Walsh, suggested this aftercare auction a few months earlier. When creative alternatives for track meetups were requested, he offered to help run this auction.
From our club members we solicited 37 items. Each club member suggested an opening bid and chose what percentage to donate to aftercare with a minimum of 50% set by us. Delightfully, many donors opted to donate all 100%.
The auction was held over a period of nine days with many items seeing competitive bidding. In fact during the final five minutes, there was a minor bidding war over an item or two.
Once the auction ended, buyers and sellers promptly completed payments and shipping arrangements. Now, a number of club members had great new horse-themed items, including saddlecloths, signed photos, glassware, and clothing. Plus, they had the added bonus of knowing that those purchases supported aftercare donations.
In addition to raising money from items sold, we had a number of club members who made cash donations. Between the auction and donations, we raised a total of $1,800 for aftercare.
With horses in a number of different geographical locations, I decided to divide the money among three groups. Each of them received $600. These groups are:
I am very thankful to Don for suggesting this event and being a key player in running it. I also am thankful for our club members, whose generosity is boundless. Their continued support and passion for aftercare, which is a key focus for me, is amazing.