The Houston Figure Skating club hosted an online auction mid-February and successfully raised a large sum for the club.
The auction that took place from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20, had roughly 300 people on the online auction Facebook group, with 150 actively bidding.
“It went really well and I am really pleased with the results. In total we raised over $7,000. The community of Houston has been so good to us. They continually support us year after year,” said Airiyel Sjoden, the organizer for the online auction.
The money raised during the auction will go towards operating costs as well as ice costs.
The online auction was the first of its kind for the club. Usually, the club hosts a ladies figure skating auction which is a live event in Houston, usually held in November. The club also does a couple of raffles throughout the year. In 2020 however, due to COVID, the club couldn’t host their auction in November and decided to move to an online auction format.
“It has been well-received. I think with people not being able to travel or do anything right now has probably boosted sales too,” said Sjoden.
In 2019, the club raised between $8,000 to $10,000 during their live auction. Sjoden said that with the live auction, there is also dinner and dance for which they sell tickets. There are also several sales at the auction so that’s where a lot of money comes from too.
“The club members have taken all of the Covid changes in stride! It is unfortunate we haven’t been able to watch the skaters as much as we all like but it is also important to follow the public health orders,” she said.
The club usually also hosts a Christmas gala where members of the community, parents and friends of the skaters can come in to watch the kids perform. However, this year due to the COVID restrictions, the gala was in the form of a recorded video. Skaters were asked to come on the ice at particular time slots and their performances were recorded. Coach Stephanie then stitched together the videos and uploaded it on to the club’s YouTube channel.
The club will be hosting their ‘Wizard of Oz’ carnival this year, which will also be videotaped. The details for the carnival and the video would be posted on the club’s Facebook page.
“Kids truly benefit from participating in sport. We are hopeful that next year is more of a normal year,” she said.