by David Ranii


This year’s UUFR auction fundraiser has been remade, revamped, renovated and overhauled to be safe – yet fun – during the pandemic. Did we mention it will be online? Save the dates: November 13-21.




You’re probably wondering: How the heck does an online auction actually work?

In order to broaden its appeal, the auction has been expanded to nine days – November 13 through 21 – and will incorporate a number of new features. It will culminate in a virtual live auction on the final night. Bids on goods and services will be a click away.

Details of the other pieces of the auction, which will debut November 13, are still being worked out. But here’s what you can look forward to when the UUFR auction website is unveiled:

  • Silent Auction: Click on an item and you’ll see the current highest bid. In addition to placing a higher bid on the spot, you’ll also be able to set a maximum bid. If you do this and someone outbids you, the system will automatically place a higher bid on your behalf – at pre-set increments of $5 or more (the increments vary from item to item) – up to the maximum amount you’ve specified.
  • Fixed-price: Hate trying to outbid others? Some items will be available for a set price. (No haggling.)
  • Virtual Live Auction: You’ll be able to preview the items available for bid on the final night in the days leading up to the event.
  • Raffle: Chances are you know all about buying raffle tickets and taking your chances. These tickets are virtual, but the prizes are real – such as, for example, a gift card to a local restaurant or retailer.
  • Food tickets. Purchase tickets for food that will be available for contact-free pickup the day of the live auction.


It’s not too early to think about what goods or services you could donate that would resonate as we all cope with the pandemic. Perhaps you could host a craft class via Zoom (after delivering the necessary materials to the winners). Or deliver a homemade dessert on a monthly basis. Or provide four hours of yard/garden work. You can find more ideas here.

Moreover, although the Auction Committee has outlined the broad parameters of this year’s event, details are still being fleshed out. And we need your help. If you’re willing and able, please contact Danna Mattocks or Becky Elliott.


In the past, the bulk of the money raised at UUFR’s annual auctions has come from auctioning off in-person happenings such as dinner parties and game nights. But, this year, prodded by the coronavirus pandemic – thanks for nothing, Covid-19 – the Auction Committee is looking for fun new ways to bid for your attention.

Which brings us to gift baskets. If you’ve ever attended a gift basket fundraiser, you know that the baskets can be sweet and simple – and inexpensive – such as a chocolate lover’s delight (think Videri) or a car care package featuring everything from car wash mitts to air fresheners. Or they can be elaborate, such as a backpacking tent stuffed with everything you need for a wilderness escape.

The beauty of gift baskets is that they can be donated by an individual or by a group of friends. Or, if you’re a member of one of the many official and unofficial UUFR groups that enrich the congregation, think about galvanizing your group to go in on a basket.


Watch this space for more details on this year’s online auction.