Oesterlen's Benefit Auction Makes a Successful Comeback

The 2017 Stand Up for Children Benefit Auction returned after 4 years with a new focus on Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month.

      Oesterlen Services For Youth, Inc. hosted their Stand Up For Children Benefit Auction on Saturday, April 1st, 2017. In the past, Oesterlen has hosted seven benefit auctions. The Stand Up For Children Benefit Auction was the first auction that Oesterlen has held in the past four years. The Bushnell Banquet Center, located in the historic Bushnell Building in downtown Springfield, proved to be a beautiful setting for this year’s event. With over 140 guests in attendance, the atmosphere throughout the night was lively and everyone enjoyed the festivities of the evening.

     The 2017 Stand Up For Children Benefit Auction had a different focus and feel than the previous years. Being held on April 1st, Oesterlen wanted to use this chance to help promote Child Abuse Awareness Prevention Month. Sharon Lawson, one of the parents of Oesterlen's Treatment Foster Care Family of the Year, was kind enough to give everyone a small look inside the life of a loving foster care and adoptive family. Oesterlen is proud to work with parents like Sharon to help children find homes and a healthy enviroment that they may not have necessarily. Her moving speech helped shine a light on the importance of children having a home filled with love and support and why the community needs to work together on not only stopping child abuse, but providing those children with support.

      Another update to Oesterlen's previous auctions was the use of an electronic bidding company to run the silent and live auction. This new approach made bidding easier by allowing guests to bid from their phone from anywhere at the auction. By making bidding available from a guest’s phone, our attendees were able to sit, relax, eat their dinner, and socialize with friends and other guests while still keeping watch of items that they were bidding on. The social aspect of this event was through the roof because of the opportunity for each for person to bid from anywhere in the building instead of hovering close to a particular item in order to keep watch of the most recent bid. Another positive outcome of using a mobile bidding service was bidding online. Bidding online gave anyone that was unfortunately unable to physically attend a chance to still participate by bidding on silent and live auction items from their computer or phone at home. Oesterlen Services For Youth, Inc. was able to underwrite the cost of the mobile bidding company through the generous sponsorships that were received for the auction.

      The night had a serious and important message but the auction was still a lively and fun event. The live auction was lead by auctioneer Jeff Harvey, who took the stage for an exciting and comical live auction experience. A highlight of the live auction were the items that were created in Oesterlen's on campus woodshop. Youth who recieve theraputic services from Oesterlen created bowls, pens, clipboards, and cutting boards that were used as center pieces at each table the night of the auction. Each item was auctioned off at the end of the live auction. As our guests came together to raise money for Oesterlen, every center piece was bid on and sold. This special moment was a perfect reminder to all in attendance that the money being raised was for children of our community.

      Oesterlen was blessed beyond measure with the ability to underwrite expenses as well as having 115 silent auction items and 30 live auction items. Oesterlen Services For Youth, Inc. is very grateful to all of the event's sponsors, donors, attendees, and volunteers. Without you, this event could not have been a success. Every little bit can make a difference.

      Oesterlen hopes you will join us for another fun night at next year’s auction which wil take place April 7th, 2018 at the Bushnell Banquet Center. Oesterlen looks forward to seeing how next year’s event can tops 2017’s Stand Up For Children Benefit Auction.  Thank you to everyone who came together to serve Oesterlen, we can't wait to see you next year!