This past Friday evening, April 5, 2013, Portland’s Home Builders Foundation hosted their annual Black and White Gala.
Since 1997, the Home Builders Foundation has been hosting an auction in order to raise funds and awareness about homelessness in the city of Portland. This year, the auction focused on two projects, HomeAid and a housing and scholarship program specifically for young adults from the age of 16-21. The silent auction sold items such as autographed University of Oregon football helmets and Willamette Valley’s own wine collection. Raising over $5,000 alone in the silent auction, the Home Builders Foundation could only expect more from the live auction.
As the 500 plus people sat down at their tables for dinner, paddles sitting quietly by their sides, the MC took the floor to get the night rolling. After a brief introduction by the city of Portland’s mayor as well as the Home Builders Foundations president, the auctioneer took center stage in order to get the audience excited.
The auctioneer played fun with the idea of a live auction and decided to auction off the Governor’s Hotel, the place at which the auction was taking place. The mayor of Portland started the evening out with a “bid” of one million dollars. The auctioneer whimsically sold the Governor’s Hotel for $33 million. Nicole Bailey, coordinator of the Home Builders Foundation’s Black and White Gala, said “I missed the part where this was a fake item. My mouth literally dropped when I thought we made that much money…It wasn’t until the MC announced the first item that I realized it was pretend.”
There were 12 items sold at the live auction. There were trips to Italy and France, a weekend vacation white water rafting and even the opportunity to see the band FUN this upcoming summer. Raising around $40,000, the Home Builders Foundation couldn’t stop just there with the live auction. Bakers from the Portland area whipped together their most decadent desserts and donated them for a “dessert dash.” There were a total of 13 desserts and each table submitted how much they would pay for dessert. The highest bidding table was able to choose the first piece of dessert. The highest dessert went for $510.
In the middle of the live auction, a video was presented to show to audience what exactly it is the Home Builders Foundation does for the city of Portland. The president of the Home Builders Foundation stood up after to introduce one special teenager whose life was impacted by one of their programs. She told her story and how the program has changed her life for the better and concluded by thanking everyone for all of their donations and support. Right then, one of the Board Members stood up and made a pledge of $20,000 and then a pledge to match anything over $40,000 in the quick bid. The Home Builders Foundation raised $122,000 in the following 30 minutes.
“It was an extremely successful and emotion event,” said Bailey. She was incredibly relieved and gracious about the entire event and couldn’t wait to begin expanding on the new Home Builders Foundation project.