Harvest Moon Auction 2008
By Jennifer Winters, Director
“A Starry Safari” was the theme for the 20th annual Harvest Moon Auction to benefit the Bing Nursery School Scholar-ship Fund. The auction, held Oct. 18, 2008, raised over $250,000 that will provide financial aid for 20 percent of our students. The scholarship program is as integral to the mission of Bing today as it was when our school was founded over 43 years ago. Helen and Peter Bing continue to lead support for the scholarship program with a very generous gift of $50,000.
The event took place on Stanford’s campus at the Arrillaga Alumni Center’ s McCaw Hall. It was transformed into a virtual African Safari where guests were on the lookout for big game animals as well as great items to bid on in the auction. The food was fantastic and the supplier, Jimmy V’s Sports Café, made sure there was an ample supply! The rare and tasty African liqueur Amarula helped to get the crowd in a festive mood. As the night went on, Stanford’s own Kumba dance group and the Talisman a cappella group entertained guests with their amazing singing and dancing.
As in past years, this very successful event was made possible only through the dedication and countless hours devoted by our parent volunteers. Our Bing parents were responsible for every aspect of the event from the planning, execution and final clean up. They solicited donations, picked them up, entered them into the database and organized the auction inventory; they also put up bulletin boards, coordinated the entertainment, put together gift baskets, set up display items, decorated the venue, checked guests in and out, and took care of the very important job of clean-up.
Exciting items that were bid on during the live auction, which raised $30,000, included a private tour of the exhibition “Timbuktu to Cape Town,” at the Cantor Center art museum, a safari led by teachers Emma O’Hanlon and Jen Aguilar to the San Francisco Zoo, a horizontal magnum of L’Angevin wine, premium tickets to a 49ers game, a Las Vegas luxury weekend, an off-road adventure in a Land Rover, a precious handmade playhouse by Bing carpenter Wilhelm Grotheer and teacher Betsy Koning, and the ever-popular “Fund a Scholarship”—in other words, straight cash donations.
The wide array of exciting events and parties that were available for bids proved to be another extremely popular attraction. These special events were all planned, arranged and donated by Bing families. Some of the events included a hike in Woodside followed by a delicious lunch in a private home, an afternoon tea, an Iranian dinner, a pizza and puppet party, a movie night, an Academy Awards party, a family hike and picnic, bunco night, a princess tea, a wine tasting dinner, a wine tasting party, the annual Texas hold’em poker championship, a family fun BBQ, a California French cooking class, a Spanish paella dinner, a football throw with Steve Young, a speech and language development talk, a children’s cooking class with former pro golfer Cindy Axe, a ladies game night, a Halloween jump house party and a gourmet chocolate tasting party. These wonderful events not only raised money for our scholarship program, they also brought together members of our Bing community.
There were over 500 silent auction items, including adventures and getaways to destinations both near and far, from Lake Tahoe all the way to South Africa. For car buffs, there were test drives of a Maserati and a Tesla roadster. Children’s activities and parties included an evening with teacher Jenna Ascari, a puppet show with teacher Stephanie Holdermann, ballet lessons, soccer sessions, frozen yogurt with teacher Katie Smartt, a ride on the historic Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, music classes with teacher Kitti Pecka, cooking class with teacher Jen Aguilar and lessons in Russian speaking and singing.
The culinary delights included dinners at Quattro, Armadillo Willy’s, Palo Alto Creamery, Chez Panisse, The Fish Market, Stanford Faculty Club, Sundance Steak-house, 231 Ellsworth, In-N-Out Burger, Amici’s, and Frankie Johnnie & Luigi Too pizza. In addition, there were opportunities to win lots of homemade dinners and desserts from toffee, pies, cakes and cookies, and even intimate dinners delivered right to your home.
We would like to thank all of the Bing parents whose dedication and countless hours of involvement made this such a successful event, and, specifically express our appreciation to the auction chairs, Nicole Nokes and Claire Libraro, and to incredibly talented auctioneers, Jeff Jonkers and Laurie Quinn! We also thank all who donated, volunteered and participated in this annual extravaganza, and we look forward to seeing everyone again at this year’s auction, “A Night of Good Fortune” on November 14th. We truly appreciate all your involvement and support. It is what makes the Bing community so special.