Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Sold!" Rotarians

Sold! This word has become a favorite of mine along with "Closed", "Recorded" "Confirmed"...They mean money in the Real Estate business.

The other night Betty and I had the priveledge of attending the Fifth Annual Banning Rotary Auction at the Oak Valley P.G.A. Clubhouse in Beaumont. You can see the headline there. It was more than "pretty good". It was alot of fun. I think that is one of the first "auctions" I've been to where it was all done aloud...really aloud! Of course it was for their current charity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Banning. I was asked to go and represent my employer, Pardee Homes, a big contributor to the event. My boss knew I didn't want to spend the day on a boat in the harbor with the rest of the corporate employees, especially on a Friday. I had gone to the street opening of "Oak Valley Parkway" the previous day representing the company. That street now connects northern Banning/Beaumont's east/west corredor to the I-10. All the homes we've been selling up there now have another access route.

We arrived at the auction around 6P.M. and signed in with Wendell. We remembered each other from my Sun Lakes sales days. He is a 90+ year old founder. I sold him his second home on the executive golf course...nice guy and a Rotarian. The table he sent us to was way in the back, near the exit and it was full. We went back and got better seats near the action. We met Barbara Hanna again. She, evidently, is the president of Rotary for Banning and a City Councilperson. She also lives at Sun Lakes. At our table we met the owner of the two Dominoes Pizza Franchises in the area and a Computer Sales and Service Co. called Personal Computers. I think the other couple were realtors. They were all very talkative and friendly, especially after several beers. After a few announcements, the auction got underway with a "real" auctioneer. Barbara announced all the corporate contributors to applause. I acknowledged Pardee's $2000. She also mentioned that the Rotary Club was looking for a "developer" or "builder" in the area to donate 10 acres to the Boys/Girls Club for the buildings/facilities they were planning with the auction profits. I will pass that bit of information on to my boss.

The food was a bit slow in coming, especially the wine. If they had started that flowing earlier, the bids would probably have also "flow" earlier. However, people got into it as the salads came. They were supposed to have a "live" band and they were setting up in the next room, but it was just to loud and distracting with all the "calling" and bidding. There were 56 lots to be sold with their suggested "values" all the way from $40. to $5000. Many of the local businesses and members had gotten quite creative with their offerings. ie. lots of gift baskets, gourmet meals, art works(?) etc. The two largest offerings were a real live gelding paint horse (6 years old) and a cruise anywhere in the world for 7 days with Holland America Lines. The horse didn't get full value, but the cruise did. We bid on just one item, Lunch for two at Cedar Creek in Palm Springs. We've eaten there several times...very nice. It started at $40. my bid, but soon was out of reach for me. We resisted the urge to bid just to build the prices up, as some were doing. We bought some 50/50 raffle tickets but didn't win there either. Oh well.

The auctioneer didn't use a gavel but he had several spotters to help him with his "patter" He had quite the gift of gab, as they say, and a very deep, booming voice. I think this is part of what made it fun...the sense of the dramatic. It was an interesting evening all in all. Bob


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