Mediterranean Nights auction concludes, exceeding expectations


At least $45,000 was raised at the annual party auction, trumping the all-time record of $43,000; a direct result of the contributions and hard work of the community, staff and students at Seward County Community College. The evening drew a lively crowd of 467 people to the Seward County Event Center on Sept 17. Those attending appeared to be having a great time chatting and laughing with friends and acquaintances while also enjoying the entertainment as well as the Mediterranean atmosphere and cuisine. Auction bidding was spirited and most were impressed by the quality and variety of items available. In addition to community members, teachers and students from the college volunteered their assistance to make this year’s event a success. Students played a notable role at this year’s auction. Presidential scholars and ambassadors volunteered their time as well as students who participated as part of the evening’s entertainment. Presidential scholar and Ambassador Rene Boaldin was decked out in Greek goddess attire purchased especially for the occasion, and played the role of an Vanna White while displaying a necklace and earrings from Staats Jewelers valued at over $1,000. “It’s really cool that so many people are willing to help provide scholarships to students at SCCC, said Boaldin. “I was not expecting this, and I will definitely help out again next year.” President Duane Dunn also expressed his appreciation for the student’s involvement. “All the students out here really helped us. They were impressive and encouraged bidding and served as a reminder that all of this effort benefits our students.” The number of people who stayed after dinner and the silent auction to participate in the live auction was impressive to event coordinator Tammy Doll. The donation which brought the most money was “View from the Top,” which entailed a 30 minute ride in a TS-11 fighter jet and was donated by Lyddon Aero Center, Inc. The item brought a winning bid of $2,000 dollars, double its starting price. The date for the Annual Party Auction is set a year in advance to give people the ability to block their calendars, and many did just that. The auctioneer for the event, Mike Gatlin Owner and Operator of Gatlin Auction, was raised in Liberal, but moved to Colorado 6 years ago, although he still considers Liberal home. In the 17 year history of the event, Gatlin has missed only two, and he and his wife look forward to it every year. “It is a good time,” Gatlin said, “we get to participate, raise funds for the school and enjoy seeing all of our neighbors and friends at the same time. It’s always nice to come home, and we will back next year.” Gatlin was also impressed with both attendance and participation from members of the community, “I thought it went very well,” he said. Bid prices were good, and I thought we had the best auction of the last three years.” Dr. Gerald Harris, Dean of Services at the college from 2000-05, traveled from Fairview, Colorado to be a part of the festivities. He also served the Liberal school district for many years. Harris attends the auction to renew old friendships, but also to honor his son-in-law who was killed in an auto accident. “We established a scholarship in his name. “Even though family circumstances had us move back to live in Oklahoma after his death, we retain wonderful memories and friendships from our five year in Seward County, and we wouldn’t miss attending this event for anything.” Event organizer and Director of Development Tammy Doll breathed a sigh of relief upon the successful conclusion of the evening, “It is a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I am very relieved that we made more money than we ever have before. Thank you,” she said “to everyone who helped, it is definitely a group effort to make it a success.”