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Ron Nagasawa

Auction Block

My wife and I enjoy the privilege of being invited to many charitable functions, and it’s always impressive to see the generosity of our island community. Every day people struggle all over the island to make ends meet, and yet they are willing to support those who are less fortunate. It is the true definition of aloha.

These nonprofit organizations do a great job of providing for the needs of their causes by being creative. One successful trend I’ve seen is silent auctions. Donors who may not have cash to contribute give items or services of value that participants can bid on. This makes for a fun way to make contributions — and you get something in return, so everyone wins.

Well, not everybody. My wife and I recently attended a charitable function that had a silent auction before the start of the dinner program. Items are displayed, and there is a bidding sheet, where you enter your bid anonymously using an assigned bidder number. Hence, a silent auction. My wife and I have participated in a few of these, so we have a system.

Since we both have our own bidding numbers, we separate and bid on items we had divvied up during the auction preview. We always bid on items for our daughter or that we can give away as gifts to friends and family. This last time, however, I spotted something I wanted to get for myself. While not part of our game plan, I entered a bid and did not tell my wife.

I was more aggressive than usual and constantly checked to see if I remained the highest bidder. I was not, as someone else also was bidding for “my” item. Every time I put in a bid, I would go back and they had entered a higher bid.

Soon the bidding war got too high for my tastes, and I abandoned it just as they closed the silent auction. Disappointed, I joined my wife back at our table. At the end of the night, it was time to pay the piper, and so all the items were brought to the tables of winning bidders. The item I was bidding on was brought straight to my wife.

She handed it to me and said, “Here, honey, I know you wanted one of these.” What she didn’t know was that we were bidding against each other! Still, I love her for doing that — and thanked God there wasn’t a new car offered in the silent auction.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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