ServNet auctions take a break from the business of bringing buyers and sellers together in the auction lane to focus on those needing a helping hand. The causes are as varied as the auctions themselves: from benefits for orphans and the homeless to help for children with medical needs and veterans injured in the line of duty. Benefiting local, national, even global charities, auction owners, employees, and their customers open their hearts and their pockets at fund-raising efforts across the country.
"The fund-raising events held at ServNet auctions vary in size and scope," says ServNet President Eric Autenrieth. "Some benefit high profile charities, while others are focused on efforts that are close to home. But they are all spurred by the generosity of the auction's owners, employees and customers and their desire to help.
Metro Auto Auction of Phoenix Helps Community Youth, Flies Help to Puerto Rico
In 2016 the National Auto Auction established the NAAA Auction of the Year Award to recognize outstanding public service at auctions in each of the association's four regions. In the inaugural year of that award program two ServNet auctions were recognized: KCI Kansas City, and Louisiana's First Choice Auto Auction. Following suit in 2017, ServNet's newest location, Metro Auto Auction of Phoenix received the Auction of the Year award for the Western Region, recognizing the auction's many efforts to help youth in the community. The auction has adopted two local children's nonprofit groups, Hope Kids and Elevate Phoenix, as its primary philanthropic activities. Hope Kids works with seriously ill children and their families, for which the auction plans, underwrites and staffs special events throughout the year to brighten their lives.
From its establishment in 2007, Metro has hosted a Christmas party complete with Santa's arrival on a fire truck, gifts, games, crafts, train rides, petting zoo, Disney characters, a holiday dinner and a snowy playground for more than 600 kids and family members. Donations have totaled $300,000 over the past decade.
"These families are dealing with illness, struggling with financial hardship and even the siblings often suffer because so much attention is given to the treatment of the sick child," McDermott says. "But the Christmas party fills the entire afternoon with laughter, songs and sharing, letting them escape the daily stress watching their children enjoy being in the moment. While our staff and their families experience the sense of giving and an appreciation for the blessings we have in our lives."
Elevate Phoenix has received more than $275,000 raised by auction employees to help the organization conduct its mission of providing "long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth" through an accredited program in two high schools with 3,400 students. In addition, Metro Auto Auction supports a variety of other charities including Best Buddies, Wounded Warriors, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona and 2Gether We Live.
As the 2017 NAAA Western Chapter Auction of the Year, Metro Auto Auction of Phoenix received a $5,000 award, which spurred the auction into action to help even more. Using that $5,000, and adding thousands of dollars, McDermott and the auction staff turned their attention to those in need as a result of the devastating hurricane that hit Puerto Rico. They located a pilot with a Falcon jet, loaded the aircraft with generators, clothing, diapers and other supplies, and flew them to San Juan. The jet did not return empty, however; before leaving the island, the crew located several people needing medical treatment who had been unable to leave Puerto Rico and flew them back to Phoenix. The need in Puerto Rico was so great that McDermott and his staff sent the jet back a second time with much needed supplies.
Metro Auto Auction of Phoenix sent a jet loaded with generators, clothing, diapers and other much needed supplies to Puerto Rico to help with hurricane relief. After picking up several people needing medical treament who had been unable to leave Puerto Rico, the auction staff packed the plane again and sent it back to the island.
"One of our core beliefs is that success is not only determined by the bottom line, but by what we give back," says McDermott. "Charity, community involvement and compassion are part of the corporate values that our Metro family shares and lives through our public service as a team."
Walker Auction Group Reaches out to Hurricane Victims
Supported by colleagues in the ServNet Auction Group, the W. Walker Auctions reached out to help area residents who were tragically affected by Hurricane Harvey, which swept through East Texas in late August. With help from the owners of State Line Auto Auction and TPC Management wo made generous donations, the Walker family (owners of Corpus Christi Auto Auction and San Antonio Auto Auction) were able to identify four400 Port Arkansas, Texas families from an especially hard-hit neighborhood who had lost their homes during the storm. The Walkers were also able help two auto dealers whose business had suffered major damage.
Local Auction Fund-raising Benefits Homeless, Food Bank and Childrens' Organizations
Other ServNet auctions have contributed to their communities through various outreach activities throughout the year. Some, like Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City, partnered with customers to help those in need. In October DAA/OKC teamed with Santander/Chrysler Capital during the last quarter of 2017 to raise funds for three children's charities. Setting aside $6 for Santander/Chrysler Capital vehicle sold in October, November and December, DAA/OKC made donations to Child Legacy International, Mercy International and Children's Research Center. Employees joined in as well, holding a bake sale in the auction lobby on sale day, and donating all the proceeds to Mercy International.
Greenville Auto Auction and its customers raised $10,000 for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina at the auction's 7th Anniversary Sale this year. Greenville Auto Auction's employees also had the opportunity to volunteer at the food bank where they sorted six pallets of retail recovery food and prepared 762 pounds of other items for re-distribution into the community.
Greater Rockford Auto Auction's employees worked hard to help Carpenter's Place, a local Rockford organization that helps homeless adults. In the fall the auction donated 100 items from the group's Critical Needs list, and in December collected winter critical needs items, which were delivered along with the proceeds from bake sales, raffles and other fundraisers.
Carolina Auto Auction Joins with Auction Leaders to Benefit Cancer Research
The month of November was a fundraising phenomenon for cancer research in honor of Carolina Auto Auction owner Henry Stanley. Earlier in the month, auction leaders from around the country held a charity auction to help in the effort, bidding on a Charlie Daniels autographed fiddle, a week-long trip to Key Largo, a trip for two to the 2018 Kentucky Derby and more. The benefit, led by ServNet Chairman of the Board, Kevin Brown, raised just money for melanoma research at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, the charity that Henry Stanley and Carolina Auto Auction have supported for many years by way of the auction's annual golf tournament. In addition, Carolina Auto Auction hosted its own charity fundraiser in November to add to effort. Over four weeks the auction raised thousands of dollars more, bringing the total donation to $100,000 for the Winship Cancer Institute.
Owners Henry and Patty Stanley and GM Eric Autenrieth gather with Carolina Auto auction staff to present a check for $100,000 to the Henry Winship Cancer Institute.
Anniversary Sale Fundraiser Breaks 25-Year Record at DAA Northwest
25 years ago, DAA Northwest began its annual Anniversary Sale Fundraiser when a local non-profit organization approached the auction and asked for help. At the time, the request was for DAA's employees to make payroll deductions that would benefit the non-profit organization.
"At that time, we couldn't even afford employee benefits," recalls Bob McConkey, president. "There was no way we were going to ask our team to take money out of their checks," he adds. A decision was made to purchase a Joe Montana football helmet that would be auctioned off to dealers. DAA would match funds and contribute everything to the non-profit. "That's what started it all," says McConkey.
Every November since then, the auction has hosted a dinner party and benefit auction in conjunction with its Anniversary Sale. This year's event marked DAA Northwest's 25th Anniversary and produced record-breaking contributions. Dealers purchased live auction items and 25th Anniversary caps, and made cash donations. DAA Northwest matched all funds raised, bringing the 25th Anniversary Fundraiser total to a record-breaking $170,000. Beneficiaries included Young Life, Union Gospel Mission, the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and Spring of Hope International. Since its inception, DAA Northwest's Anniversary event has produced $1.7 million for non-profit organizations.
The ServNet Auction Group is a network of America's best strategically located independently-owned wholesale auto auctions. Since 1988, ServNet member auctions have been working together to provide a full range of remarketing services to its customers, including the best auctioneers, inspections, reconditioning, transportation assistance and inventory financing. The ServNet Auction Group is managed by TPC Management with headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee.