DESERT EXPLORERS RENDEZVOUS 2011
By Marian Johns
Another year, another Rondy, how time flies. If your missed this one, we’re sorry because I think is was one of the better ones, despite the late decisions about dates and place - for which we apologize. Next year we hope to have this information available early so you can set aside the dates. Debbie Miller will be working on Goffs as the venue for next year, but we should probably have an alternate site just in case, so if you have any ideas lets us know.
I was really impressed with the outstanding job that Bob Jaussaud and Steve Marschke did organizing the silent auction. It was loads of fun and we made a significant amount which will now be used for our own expenses and hopefully a donation to a worthy cause/organization. We surely miss Alan Romspert, the Dodd’s and Maybelle for the work they did putting together past auctions and hope Bob and Steve will continue this tradition. Thank you everyone who either donated or purchased items.
This year’s trips came off without a hitch. Even though Friday was a real scorcher (104 degrees I heard), Saturday and Sunday it cooled off considerably and was quite pleasant. Thank you trip leaders! Look for trip reports in the newsletters.
The Saturday evening banquet, although a bit pricey, was, in my opinion, tasty (loved those mashed potatoes). Your $20 did not include the tip, so the D.E. had to cover that. Did you know that the left-over food has to be thrown away? This seems like such a waste - there was lots of meat left. I was told we could not take the left-overs in "doggie bags" either.
See you all again next year – hope to see some new faces too. We would also be delighted to see you during the year on some of our monthly trips – not just once a year at the Rondy. We have some fine outings with dedicated leaders who put in a lot of time planning and sometimes pre- running trips just for you.
Debbie Miller Marschke deserves a special thanks for arranging to have Mark Jorgenson be our Rondy Speaker. Mr. Jorgenson, a former park superintendent, presented a very educational and humerous talk about the desert bighorn sheep that reside in the Anza Borrego area.
Vicki Hill also deserves a special thank you for doing much of the leg and phone work to put this Rondy together.
The Silent Auction by Steve Marschke
Thanks to everyone that made the silent auction a success. This year we tried a little bit of a twist - the "Buy it Now" feature. It was modeled after the eBay function of the same name. It was the option of the donor to choose to put a Buy It Now price on each item. The bidders had the opportunity to short circuit the bidding and buy the item directly without having competition. Of course this meant that the Buy It Now price should be about the fair market value of the item. Bob and I thought this might be a good way to seperate the fools from their money as in the past many items had only one bidder and sold for the minimum bid. It seemed to work, 30 items were sold through the Buy It Now feature.
Depending on how we counted, there were 163 items donated and 135 items purchased (Jim Proffit's lightbulbs and Bill Neill's grapefruit presented a source of counting discrepancies as some were bought indivdually and some as sets.) The revenue from the auction was $874. I believe that is a record high number! I thought it would be fun to have some awards:
First the awards for the donors: the Benefactor Award (for total revenue donated) goes to Ann Stoll; her photocopied out-of-print books earned a whopping $215! Honorable mention in the Benefactor category goes to Chuck and Kathy Mitchell for jewelry, clothing and Baja books. The Attic Prospector Award (for the most items donated) goes to Jim Proffitt for the donation of 62 compact flourescent light bulbs, with Ann Stoll as runner up for her 51 photocopied books. The Gold Bar Award (for the item that fetched the highest price) was the handmade mirror frame from Mignon Slentz composed of treasures that she has found on various DE trips - it garnered $55 dollars for the club. The Most Desirable Award (for the item that triggered a bidding war) was a malachite bracelet from Zimbabwe that Chuck and Kathy Mitchell donated - 5 different bidders made a total of 15 bids, eventually selling for $30 (or 6 times the starting bid!)
Now the awards for the purchasers: The Big Spender Award (for total dollars spent) goes to Neal Johns, honorable mention to Jean Hanson. The Shopaholic Award (for the person that bought the most items) also goes to Neal Johns with Jean Hanson and Vicki Hill tied for runner up.
Thanks to everyone that donated and purchased items, this is our one and only fundraiser for the year and helps to pay for the newletters, website, satellite phone and other operating expenses that you all enjoy. Bob and I would like to add a special thanks to Joan McGovern for reviewing, ordering and numbering the Ann Stoll books and for helping us collect the money at the auction closing frenzy - people were literally trying to throw money at us. See you all next year.