The benefit is almost a week ago (cant believe it!)... and it was one amazing day!
Everyone asks how the benefit went, and I say - "It was great, despite the rain."
Yep, it rained on the benefit.. out of the 11 hrs we had the benefit - it probably rained about 5 of those hours - not including the rain during the set up. Luckily we were able to get ahold of a tent to help cover our heads, along with the pavilion to give shelter. And of course the town hall, that housed the silent auction items, and bake goods.
The people, oh my goodness, the people! I would say we had 1,000+ easy of people who attended. I had people coming up to me that I haven't seen in years, and I had hard time placing who they were. And I was thrilled when I seen some friends of my parents there to partake in the day.. they came from over 2 hrs away to join us.
Every time we were looking for Dad he was surrounded by people. He did mention to us that he never thought that people would care so much for him. It came to a point where I had to go and get Dad something to eat, as he has been standing, chatting with people for hours.
We had - the silent auction, bake sale, kids games - including the trout pond, food, beverages, tractor/train ride, 50/50 cash raffle, paddle wheel, demonstrations (Theda Star wasn't able to make it because of the weather), music - polka band, and 2 djs - fun, fun, fun.
We had a little presentation that we gave our Dad - it was a fire helmet that was painted white (for fire chief), and on the front of the visor it had the "Fireman's Creed", above it, had the Clayton-Winchester Fire Dept patch, on the left side it had an American Flag, on the other side it had a ax, and pick. On the back of the helmet has a picture replica of my Dad's 1956 fire truck that he owns, and on the back of the helmet, it has Clayton 100 (my dad's handle name), and Mathison (our last name). It was pretty emotional during that time. We hope to get pictures of the presentation.. but with us kids standing up doing the presentation, it was hard.
Right after the presentation - we had 2 area fire dept representatives present checks totalling $1,100! That really got me teary eyed!
Actually most of the pictures that we have are from someone - THANKS JENNIFER! We still have more to get from people.
And we had a surprise - FOX 11 was there to do an interview.. but we didn't even get the chance to see it as we were there working. But I put in an email requesting to see the news story from that night in regards to the benefit.
For the bake sale - there was a table that had to be about 30 feet long, with lots of bake goods on it. There was a guy there that asked about how much would it be for all the goods on one of the tables, and the lady said - $28. And he asked how much for the other table - it came to $63. The guy said - "Ok, I will take it all - but you have to take it outside and pass it around." I was outside selling 50/50 tickets, and all of a sudden I see the Lioness ladies coming out carrying all the bake goods. Its just amazing what people will do!
I have to share this.. we had 101 items for the silent auction - it was just amazing the things that were donated. There was a set of 4 Fire fighter pictures which auctioned separately, and the one with the cow sold for $260 (the guy was willing to go up to $300)
For the benefit, I had requested from the Green Bay Packers a donation.. not really expecting anything.. and to our surprise they sent us a football, with all the 2007 players and coaching staff autographs, that were lazered into the ball. We were all in shock when we found out at 8pm what the football went for... I hope you are sitting down for this amount.... $800.00! We were in shock! And while we were taking the money for the silent auction, we had a offer to outbid that person $200!
All in all, it was a GREAT day! We got home about 2:30am, and we were back on Sunday for the people that didn't stay till after the silent auction was over to purchase their items.
We raised just over $20,000 on Saturday.
Below is a slide show of some of the pictures from last Saturday - I will let you know when more are posted. Most of them are from before the benefit started.