Gearing up for the EVE auction

There will be hundreds of items up for grabs when the doors to EVE Inc.’s annual auction open at the Lafayette Hotel Friday at 6 p.m. But if attendees want to get a sneak peak at some of the offerings beforehand, they need only take a stroll by the window display at Peoples Bank on Second Street.

“We just decorated the Peoples Bank window with a lot of the items so people can come see what’s being auctioned,” said EVE Inc. board member Sharon Coffman.

Local businesses and individuals have donated a variety of items for the fundraiser-from tickets to professional baseball games and golf packages to jewelry and handmade pottery.

“We always try to have our auction designed in such a way so that everybody could find something they love,” explained EVE Inc. board member and auction co-chair Robin Bozian.

The annual auction is the largest community fundraiser of the year for EVE Inc., which provides shelter, transitional housing, counseling and more for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Many items will be sold during a silent auction that takes place between 6 to 7 p.m. Larger items, such as a week stay at a two-bedroom condominium in North Carolina, will be bid on during a live auction starting at 8:30 p.m., said Bozian.

A week stay at a different North Myrtle Beach condominium will also be raffled off during the event. Tickets are $10 a piece and are limited to 100, said board member and auction co-chair Molly Varner.

Last year, the organization raised around $24,000 at the auction, she added.

The organization makes good use of a variety of grant funding. But one reason the money from the auction is so important is that unlike grant funding, the money raised locally is not earmarked for a specific purpose, said Bozian.

“A lot of times, a grant can only be used to pay for a specific thing. What’s nice about this money is we can use it wherever we need it, whether it be for utilities or supplies, or whatever else a grant might not cover,” she said.

In addition, the money earned at the auction helps EVE receive grants that require matching funds.

“We can at least usually triple and sometimes quadruple the money earned here through grants,” said Varner.

The organization operates on a $500,000 annual budget, she said.

A lot of local talent will be on display at the auction. A handpainted wooden box by Valerie Holley, which depicts images of Marietta in celebration of the city’s 225th birthday, is one of the many items that can be seen in the Peoples Bank window display, said Varner.

“It’s just gorgeous,” said Varner of the box. “Local artists have just always seen this as a good cause and been very supportive.”

Coffman, who loves to bake, is donating the same item she donated to last year’s auction-a homemade dessert every month for a year.

“Last year’s winners were sad that this was their last month,” she said.

Even those who do not bid on anything can support the shelter by purchasing a ticket to the event, said Bozian.

“People can expect to see a lot of their friends and neighbors there. It’s just always a good time,” she said.

Tickets are $20 per person, or $175 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets or reserve a table in advance, call EVE at 374-5820. Tickets will also be sold at the door the night of the auction.