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The following was written by Craig Kelly and Jim Neeser, UAA Board Members.

Trees & Utilities in Pittsburgh hosted the 1st Annual Silent Auction and it was a grand success.  The proceeds from the silent auction support the UAA’s Nelsen Money Scholarship Fund, and the Arbor Day Foundation’s Reforestation Program.

Given this was the first time an auction had been included at the conference, the idea was launched in November 2022 and set in stone late spring of this year.

The success of the UAA’s Annual Silent Auction can be measured in a few ways:

  • We had tremendous participation from the attendees at Trees & Utilities
  • The items up for bid on behalf of the exhibitors were fabulous
  • We conducted the auction on an electronic bidding system

The most impressive result? Nearly $10,000 was raised to fund two important programs.

It was evident that our Executive Director Dennis Fallon and his unwavering plugs at the luncheon made a huge difference in our final total. Twenty-six hours into the auction we had raised just shy of $5,000. During the final three hours of the auction, we bumped up the proceeds by another $5,000.  (Nicely done bidders, and oh, great plugs, Dennis!)

Some of the items included in this year’s auction were a two-day guided fishing trip for two in New York state, wine and whiskey, a hand-carved charcuterie board, coolers filled with swag, Apple Airpods, Apple Vision Pro, Yeti’s, a Fish Finder, a Bass Pro package, tools and equipment, and a Blackstone Griddle – all things built around the person that Nelsen Money exhibited – a fisherman who enjoyed wine, outdoor swag, technology and food. We are tremendously grateful to everyone who donated incredible items this year.

What does the future hold for the silent auction?  We are currently in the planning phase for 2024. With the level of success that we experienced in Pittsburgh, we intend on holding a 2nd Annual Silent Auction at Trees & Utilities in Fort Worth, Texas.  To that end, we look forward to raising even more money for two great causes next year. Here’s a reminder that you have close to a full year until we meet in Texas, so save up and be ready to bid.

On a final note, remember that your company is ALWAYS welcome to support the UAA’s Nelsen Money Scholarship Fund.  Whether is $5 or $500, anything helps the students get what they need for their higher education endeavors.  Find the information on the UAA website, scroll down to the link and donate today.

Thanks for your encouragement and support. We look forward to another successful auction next year!

Craig Kelly and Jim Neeser

NOTE: Mark your calendar for Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023, and support the Nelsen Money Scholarship Program. Stay tuned for details in UAA social media and on the website.