It’s that time of year again! We are in the middle of summer, and it is only about four weeks until Mr Armitage’s birthday. The veterans among you know what is coming: In August I always organise a charity auction to raise funds that will be donated in Richard’s name on his birthday. This year shall not be different. In fact, this year will see the fifth anniversary of our birthday auctions, and I can already say now that it is probably going to be bigger and better than ever!
For the new, the curious and the uninitiated, this is what usually goes down: Over the last months I have received wonderful donations of fan items that will be put up for auction in mid-August. This time, a large part of the auctions will actually be fan items hand-made by some of our fellow fans. For the sake of creating some more suspense, I am not giving away yet what will be on offer, but I have had a first look at some of the items, and I can already say that there are some fabulously detailed, original, wonderfully creative, hand-made items in there that you will love. On top of that there will be fan memorabilia such as magazines that featured Richard and/or his projects, and theatre programmes, as well as other related material such as DVDs, books or CDs. There are also some items which originate from our Flat Richie parcel, as the participants decided that the returned gifts were to go into the next fundraiser auctions. All together it’s a wonderful mixed bag of things, and if you are really curious, you can get a rough idea of what to expect when you go back to previous years’ auctions, for instance 2019 or 2018.
If you are new here, you can scroll through the “historic” auction posts, and you will see that the fundraiser is always a huge amount of fun. The items are offered as open auctions via eBay, which has proven easiest in terms of transparent bidding, as well as transfer of money. I will be writing regular updates over the course of the auctions, do some live tweeting, and add up the final proceeds as soon as we are done. Even for those who neither have donated items nor won an auction, it usually is quite exciting – because the journey is the destination. Following along, watching the bidding, promoting the fundraiser, counting the final proceeds are all part of the fun. The participation doesn’t have to be monetary, because the fundraiser is first and foremost an opportunity for the fandom to come together, to meet new fans, to create a buzz about the charity we have chosen to benefit – and to finally treat Richard to a hefty donation in his honour and in his name. That way we can honour his own suggestion of giving money to charity rather than investing it in gifts for him, we can highlight the chosen charity, create an opportunity for fellow fans to be creative, give money to a good cause – and even receive some thing back in return: For the auction winners it will be the won items. For all other participants it will be the knowledge that we have done something good. And even had fun while doing so.
Like last year, I would like to time the auctions in such a way that all proceeds have been collected by me in time for the final transfer of the donation on Richard’s birthday, 22 August. That way, the fundraiser is our birthday gift, presented on the day. To that end, I would propose to schedule the auctions from Monday, 17 August, ending on Thursday, 20 August. That will give me (and the auction winners) one day to collect all the money, to do the final sums, and to then transfer the donation on Saturday, 22 August.
Personal tangent: On a total whim I replied to a recruiter today and it looks as if I may be in the running for a full-time, permanent job as a photography specialist. The recruiter and their client seem to be desperate to fill the role asap, but nothing has been decided yet. However, I have already told the recruiter, while I *can* start from 1 August, I *will* need three days off “for a prior arrangement”. 😁 Guess, what that may be??? 😉 In previous years we have often tried to include weekends in the auction period, but would weekdays (as above) work, too? Any other suggestions? If so, please let me know in the comments. Likewise, let me know which charity this year’s donation should go to? As always, I propose we choose either one of the charities supported by Richard via JustGiving, or the fundraiser for Loros in his mother’s name. Both options have high visibility, which not only means that Richard will receive notice of donations, but also allows *me*, as the “treasurer”, to automatically create a visible notice and proof for you that I have transferred the donation.
As in previous years, there will also be the option of adding individual donations to our final sum. In the past, this option has often been used by generous auction participants who had been outbid on the items, but wanted to contribute to the birthday fundraiser with their designated charity budget, regardless. I am happy to provide this opportunity again. Details about the transfer of individual donations to the pot, will be published closer to the time.
Especially for our new readers, I would like to emphasise here that this fundraiser is neither endorsed nor demanded by Mr Armitage, and has in the past only been acknowledged by him in the most general of ways. However, this is a fan initiative, which has become a much enjoyed annual event for many of us, but as such there is obviously no obligation for anyone to take part! Many fans prefer to donate individually and on their own, and that is a wonderful, generous gesture, too. I’d also like to reiterate that there are many ways of contributing to the fundraiser (and thus Richard’s birthday gift) that do not involve money. It’s the thought and the gesture that count, and your help in promoting the fundraiser, in highlighting the chosen charity, in thanking the donors, in cheering on the bidders, and in creating a happy party atmosphere, is valuable and much appreciated.
Since this is only the first notice of the 2020 RA Birthday Auctions, I will leave the small print and notes on general procedure until a later date. The ‘oldies’ among you already know the drill, anyway. In the coming weeks there will be teasers with more insights
hehe, or should that be “incites”, according to the Armitage Dictionary of Modern English, edition 20 July 2020? into what you can look forward to, as well as communication on the auction timeline.
For a “first notice” this has actually turned out pretty long. Apologies for that. But now you know where we are at. Donations of items for the auctions are now closed, as I am already in the process of putting together the individual auctions and preparing photos, descriptions and all other info required by eBay.
Sonja has dusted off her Excel sheets again 😂. It looks to be a fundraiser with more individual auctions than ever – which hopefully provide more opportunity for bidders to actually win an item successfully. In the past I have always offered free shipping as a sweetener for the bidders – and for maximum proceeds. This year, that depends a bit on the number of shipments required, as well as my own job situation, as the combined postage can become quite hefty. So, fingers crossed 🤞🏻. But otherwise – we are all go! Stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks – and feel free to comment!