Records were made to be broken, and this year’s Boys & Girls Club of Morristown’s Super Auction set the bar even higher.
Roughly $140,000 was raised at this year’s auction, held later this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one thing remained the same as in past auctions. The community stepped up to help the club.
“It’s crazy,” Boys & Girls Club Executive Director John Seals said.
The Super Auction was originally scheduled for August 11, but COVID-19 levels in Hamblen County were at a high, so board members pushed the auction to Saturday.
“There was a lot more uncertainty in August,” Seals said. “The board thought to be safe the Super Auction was pushed out to September. At the late August board meeting, the board decided to keep the auction in September.”
The Super Auction was conducted in an abbreviated form this year. There were several huge tents where patrons could bid and auctioneers could take bids. Compared to previous years, the Super Auction began at 10 a.m. and was over right after 1 p.m.
“We made adjustments for safety and for being outside,” Seals said. “We tried to make sure it was safe for everybody. It was an unbelievable day.”
The community supported the Boys & Girls Club, and then some, according to Seals.
“I’ve said it before, but the community never ceases to amaze me,” he said. “Over the years, you see people in the crowd who have been to a Super Auction, in some cases every auction. We have a lot a former club members who have grown up with families now and it’s like a homecoming for them and we have new people who join the community. It speaks volumes for the club, the reputation it has had over the years and what we do in the club with kids. We try to be right by them. We’re not perfect, but I think the community backs that and we’re so appreciative.”
Seals believes that God had His hand in the auction.
“I could tell you story after story about God having his hand in this auction,” Seals said. “He had His hand on this event today. There was a great turnout from everybody. Everybody understood their role, jumped right in there, wanted to contribute. Everyone went out of their way to make sure this was going to be successful.”
Seals credited people with wearing their masks and sitting six feet from each other.
“The people respected each other, more importantly they respected the club,” Seals said. “Man, we’re just so thankful.”
The annual auction of the Duke Coach Mike “Coach K” Kryzewski basketball in memory of former Boys & Girls Club Program Director Chris Statzer, was auctioned for $2,000 to Chancellor Dennis Inman. Tradition has had the basketball auctioned for the last five years with the money given to the club and the basketball returned to the Statzer family.
Statzer died of cancer a short time after he started working for the club several years ago. While Statzer was being treated for cancer at Duke University Hospital in Durham, his son, John, was able to attend a basketball camp sponsored by Coach K. A special meeting with Coach K resulted in Kryzewski signing the basketball for the family. The family gave the basketball to the Boys & Girls Club after Chris’ death. The family continues to help with the auction each year.
Money raised on the auction of the basketball goes into the Seals Scholarship Fund, specified for the Boys & Girls Club to help families and children.
Four lots at Turner’s Landing were sold for a total of $50,500. A lot at Hampton West was auctioned for $11,000 while two lots at Timber Creek went for $8,000.
Two University of Tennessee men’s basketball season tickets went for $1,500. Automobiles and trucks were also big ticket items at the auction with a 2007 Ford F-150 selling for $5,700 and a 1992 GMC Sierra selling for $5,600. Four other cars were sold including a 2013 Ford Fusion for $2,500, a 2002 Lincoln Town Car for 1,850, a 2002 Dodge Stratus for $1,300 and a 2006 Hyundai GTL went for $1,100. A trailer was sold for $900 and two boats were sold for a combined $700. Among other items sold at the Super Auction included two drawings from club member Ashley Martin, which went for a total of $400 and a set of high-performance pistons from Mahle Motorsports sold for $300. The pistons were valued at $600.