50th Event 8 – Family Fun Day
24 Jun 2022
Guests arrived at Bedford Rugby Club’s marquee on Friday 24th June for our ninth charity event, an Auction Evening. After taking their seats, invitees eagerly skimmed the event brochure to learn more about the lots on offer.
Details of a Silent Auction running online throughout the week were also provided in the brochure. Guests could bid on a range of tools, services for household items, signed sports posters, spa days, use of SDC’s F1 Simulator, and several items of SDC merchandise.
After an introduction from Event Organiser David Heard, Master of Wine for the evening, Sarah Abbott, explained why there were labelled bottles of wine chilling on the tables. A game of ‘call my bluff’ saw Ms Abbott give the history of two wines, before three ‘bluffers’ tried to convince the audience which was which. Three rounds of wine were poured in between a three-course meal provided by Portfolio Catering. After some deliberation around the table, guests jotted down their (hopefully winning) guesses on the answer card in the hopes of winning a prize – or just bragging rights.
Jane Whitbread, Founder of Schoolreaders (the main beneficiary of this event) was then invited to the stage to say a few words. Jane passed the microphone to Priory Primary School Headteacher, Juliet Fraser, who explained the importance of having Schoolreaders in the classroom. This, coupled with a speech from a Schoolreader Volunteer, really highlighted the significance of this event.
With all guests suitably plied with alcohol, MC Sam Roberts took to the stage to begin the charity auction. Lot 1, a Red Bull Racing Factory Tour and F1 Sim Experience, Lot 2, a tour of St Catharine’s College with private viewing of the rare book collection, and Lot 3, a Private Wine Tasting Tour at Sotheby’s London, sold to the highest bidder unsurprisingly quickly. Lot 4, five days of labour from various trades supplied by SDC, was also snapped up by a hopeful bidder with a house extension in mind. Other bids saw guests win a London Theatre trip and overnight stay, premium tickets to Tottenham Hotspur, and a Trotter’s Independent Traders merchandise pack, complete with a wheelbarrow full of alcohol – which really raised the price.
With the final ‘SOLD’ from our auctioneer, and the completion of the Silent Auction online, Event Director David Heard stood up to close the event. David thanked the event organisers, Sarah Abbott, the ‘bluffers’, and the individuals and institutions who had donated auction prizes. David revealed the total amount raised following the live and silent auction and presented Schoolreaders with a giant check worth over £22,000.