Opera in Williamsburg hopes to start 2019 fundraising efforts strong by asking people to donate items for its auction in February.
The group is seeking donations for its auction from both businesses and individuals. Brenda Mitchell, a member of the Opera in Williamsburg Advisory Board, said some items that have been donated so far include gift cards to restaurants and beauty parlors and teeth whitening packages.
"Local restaurants will not just (give) a $35 gift card, but they may have a champagne brunch for eight,” Mitchell said. “One person here in town has a boat, and offers that as a two-hour sunset or brunch cruise for six.”
As for individual donations, Mitchell said people have given items such as a banner from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, handmade wooden cutting boards and a book on Opera.
“Collectible kinds of things that are kind of odd or unusual to have,” Mitchell said.
Last year Mitchell said the group raised about $7,500 from the auction. She said this money is important to the group because the opera only gets half of what it needs to operate from ticket sales.
“Basically we are paying for costuming, the musicians, the singers — anything we need to pay for, for an opera to run,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the group will stop accepting donations the first week in January.
The online auction will launch at 3 a.m. Jan. 15, and will end at 2 p.m. Jan. 31. The live auction will be held at a ticketed dinner on Feb. 1, and will include many of the same items that were online.
“So you could be outbid if you’re not at the dinner to come protect your bid,” Mitchell said.
Even if you don’t want to participate in the auction, Mitchell said people can donate money directly through the opera’s Paddle Raise.
“We’ll say ‘to rent a costume is $100, anyone want to donate $100?’ so as many people (who) want to donate $100 can,” Mitchell said. “That part of the auction is also online.”
Want to donate?
If you want to donate to the auction, contact Opera in Williamsburg emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get tickets to the dinner and auction and find more information online at operainwilliamsburg.org/february-1-2019-winter-dinner-concert-and-auction.