Kevin Cody

Best charity fundraiser – Richstone Family Center

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Richstone Family Center’s annual Affair of the Heart may be the most innovative charity fundraiser in the South Bay. Two weeks ago, guests socialized and bid on the silent auctions among new and vintage Porches before a sit down dinner in the Porsche South Bay showroom. Realtors Jennifer and Dave Caskey and Bristol Farms merchandiser Geoff Nicoll were the honorees. The Caskey’s were recognized for their “under the radar,” support of over 40 local charities, Richstone CEO Roger Van Remmen told guests. Nicoll was honored for organizing Richstone’s annual wine events, which have helped Richstone raise over $2 million since 2005. This year, $100 raffle tickets were sold for 100 bottles of Bristol Farm wines.

Then auctioneer kicked the evening into high gear by starting a reverse, no item auction. Donors were to text in their donations on their cell phones.

“Roger told me starting at $20,000 was too high. I told him I don’t think so. Who’ll give the kids $20,000?”

There was an uncomfortably long silence.

“Remember, the most selfish thing you can do is to give, because it makes you feel so good”  the auctioneer said.

A hand went up. A screen over the stage flashed $20,000. The goal was to beat the $125,000 raised during last year’s reverse, no item auction. The ask dropped to $10,000. Two hands went up. Four hands went up at $5,000. Wells Fargo disrupted the order with a $25,000 donation. By the time the donations dropped to $100, the stage screen was flashing like a slot machine that  hit the jackpot. If finally came to rest on $165,0000. Proceeds from the evening will benefit a $2.6 million capital fund to build a new 5,000 square foot Richstone Family Hearing Center.

For more information about Richstone, visit RichstoneFamily.org. 

Photos by Kevin Cody

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