The Kaufman Chamber of Commerce was forced to move its annual Civic Auction online this year due to COVID-19 social gathering constraints. The Chamber managed to have the annual fundraiser, but did see a significant decrease in bidding.

This year’s auction extended over two weeks, Sept. 16 to 30. More than 130 items weredonated for the event including gift certificates, jewelry, furniture, and firearms. The net giving totaled just over $31,000, about $20,000 below a typical year. Much of the giving decrease is contributed to the pandemic and the altered format. “There’s energy in a group of people,” said Chamber C.E.O. Anne Glasscock. “In a live event, you have tables competing against other and there’s a lot more money spent. It was a challenge to do it online. We didn’t have that in-person atmosphere."

In addition, no tickets were sold, leading to less money generated.

One positive takeaway from the online format was the expanded audience. In the onlineversion, , bidders could attend virtually from anywhere. More than 100 bidders participated in the online auction, including one from Alabama.

The Civic Auction serves as one of the largest annual fundraisers for the chamber. Bidding and donations allow more local businesses to benefit as chamber members. “It costs more per member to service [our members] than we charge them,” explained Glasscock. “In order to keep membership dues low, we have fundraisers. We have a lot of small business in Kaufman and we want to make sure we support them the very best we can.” In short, the auction allows the chamber to meet their annual budget and serveits members.

The Kaufman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all sponsors, donors, volunteers, bidders, and chamber staff for their time, giving, and efforts to make this year’s auction possible. A special thanks to Board Members Tammy Green (Kaufman Lumber Co.) Kelsey Davis (Elsie Halbert Real Estate) Kelley McGee (Tan-Tastic Salon and Boutique), and Nannette Chandler (Borders and Long Oil Company).

Next year’s Civic Auction is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25.

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