The upper level of Asheville Habitat’s ReStore is regularly abuzz every other Wednesday around 2 p.m. when the bi-monthly Silent Auction closes. But the level of excitement will be anything but typical on March 20, when auction proceeds reach the $1 million mark.
Call it “a million dollar idea” by retired teacher, self-proclaimed antiques freak, and ReStore volunteer Alan Williams who was inspired by the TV program Antiques Roadshow. He recognized that some of the items donated to the ReStore held significant value to the right buyer. A Silent Auction, he believed, could help the ReStore raise more money for Asheville Habitat’s programs.
Williams has been spearheading the curation of each auction (there have been 278) since its May 18, 2005 inception. From rare items and collectible memorabilia to local art and handmade crafts, the auction has featured a cross-section of American history and pop culture. Each auction contains, on average, 65-70 items. Some, no one can even identify!
The most unique auction by most accounts was the Grove Park Inn auction, held in celebration of Asheville Habitat’s 30th Anniversary in 2013. All of the items were donated by the Grove Park Inn and included: purple velvet loungers, “car” couches, copper wall lights, a player piano, mannequins and dress forms, many whimsical floor and table lamps, leather club chairs, arts & craft-style furniture and more. It raised more than $13,000!
While staff readily embraced the Silent Auction concept from the start, they never anticipated its impact. “We never could have foreseen what Alan would build these past 13 years, or that it would gain such a loyal following from community members,” remarked ReStore Assistant Manager Susan Haynes who supports Alan and the auction volunteer crew, which includes Anne Justice and Rob Carroll. Donation processing staff and volunteers also help by keeping an eye out for items they think Alan may want to consider for the auction.
On Wednesday, March 20 at 1 p.m., guests will gather in the upper showroom of the ReStore to celebrate the auction’s $1 million milestone, recognize Alan Williams, and present ceremonial keys to Habitat’s newest homeowner, Courtney Hoglen. The media and public are invited to attend.
Silent Auction proceeds, like all ReStore proceeds, help fund Asheville Habitat’s affordable home building and home repair programs.
About the Asheville Habitat ReStore The ReStore sells donated items to the general public. Proceeds from ReStore sales help fund Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s building programs and cover administrative and fundraising expenses. Along with Habitat homeowner mortgage payments, the ReStore represents a sustainable funding source for the non-profit. Furthermore, the ReStore provides the community with a source for affordable home improvement items and it diverts 1,800 tons of usable material from the landfill each year. For more information, please call the Habitat ReStore at 828.254.6706 or visit ashevillehabitat.org/ReStore