Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bribe the Auctioneer with Tears

DH and I have always tried to attend events that we think the girls could learn something from. Aside from customary outings like the Family Museum, we try to take them to less traditional events. Concerts like Trans Siberian Orchestra. Cultural Festivals like the Celtic Highland Games. Science stuff like Gem & Mineral Shows. Comic book and collectables shows.

This past weekend, we attended a coin show hosted by the Quad City Coin Club. We've been to coin shows in Los Angeles and random dealers always have small things for the kids. Keeps them entertained and hopefully gives them a respect for the hobby.

However, this show was set up differently. When we arrived, there was a treasure chest for the kids. They were each allowed to select 10 items from the chest. It contained a variety of foreign coins and the girls eagerly dug through it. Miss K selected 10 of all the same color but with different designs. Miss M selected various sizes and colors but was particularly excited about one with "100" marked on it. That was a nice way to start the show.

While DH was checking out what the vendors had to offer, I ran into a friend from the gym. She said her husband and kids were up registering for the kids' auction. After chatting, we got the scoop and headed to the auction area ourselves.

The auction was for kids only. Each was given $200 virtual dollars to spend on items graciously donated by the attending vendors. While the items weren't worth $200 real dollars, it was all about the experience. Some of the items up for auction were rolls of wheat pennies, silver dollars, books, annual coin sets and collection folders already containing some coins. Almost 100 lots altogether.

About 45 kids participated, bidding anywhere from $10 to $200 right off the bat. Auctioneer Mike Roberts did a great job of getting as many kids involved as possible. When Miss M and Miss K got to raise their 'paddles' they thought it was pretty cool. We didn't care what they won as long as they got something. We just didn't want them to bid too much and be done so we made sure they always pulled their paddle around the $60-$70 mark. Apparently they weren't getting to bid often enough because while DH and I were chatting, Miss K was bidding away on a book with some random coins. Yes, she won it... all on her own. Sometimes her independence is frightening. Miss M won a few auctions also and we were very excited that the event was so focused on the kids and not the parents. At one point, we told Miss K that she had won, but the auctioneer awarded it to someone else on accident. When she started to cry, he made sure that she won the next one to make up for his error.

When the final lots were coming up, they began to ask who had not won an item. Auctioneer Mike focused his attention on those kids first. When it came down to the last few lots, the woman keeping track of the bidder accounts stopped the auction. There were three kids on her list whom had not paid anything and the organizers made sure they won.

I've participated in a lot of auctions but have never enjoyed one as much as this. Thanks to the Quad City Coin Club for this wonderful event.


  • judy

    You guys are really cool parents. I think I will take your lead and look for some interesting field trips

  • Michele

    What a really fun idea. Hmm, wonder if I could do some kind of auction for Zoe's upcoming bday party. That would be so fun for the kids.

  • Sarah

    That sounds soo neat!! I've not seen anything liek that@ Now I'm going to have to look for something locally like it :D

  • runningwildkids

    I thought I would pass it on that there is a Healthy Kids fun day at the YMCA in Moline and Aledo this Saturday. It runs from 10-1 and it is a free activity to do with your children. Just another fun thing to take the kids to!

  • Nicole Brady

    Judy - Thanks for the compliment. Be sure to post about the field trips you come up with. I'm always game for new ideas!

    Michele - An auction for the birthday? That's awesome! I'll have to keep that in mind for our next party!

    Sadie - I look through the paper for ideas, but also talk to other people about their hobbies. Our kids don't like everything, but they like at least something about each stop!

    Runningwildkids - Now that you mention it, I saw a note at my Y that the North Y in Davenport is hosting it on the Iowa side. Thanks for the heads-up because I totally forgot that it was this weekend!

  • Tara

    That sounds like so much fun. Things to do are really limited in my area.