Holiday Auction raises a record $5,385

The 11th Annual Ames Laboratory Employees Holiday Auction, held Dec. 12, raised a record $5,385, topping 2011 by $937. The money was divided between the Story County Raising Readers program and the Bethesda Food Pantry.

The live auction generated $3,675 through the sale of 37 items. A Fiesta lunch offered by Diane Muncrief was the top selling item, going for $560 to the Directors' Office. She later offered a second lunch at the same price that was bought by a group from Metals Development. Other top items included a diamond necklace donated by Riddles Jewelry ($290) and an Adirondack chair built and donated by Kerry Gibson ($230) with both of those purchased by Duane Johnson.

The silent auction had 56 items that sold for a total of $1,217.50 with the "tequila gun" the most sought after item with 15 bids. Terry Herrman was the eventual winner with a bid of $70.

Miscellaneous cash donations totalled nearly $500. There were 10 bags of groceries that also went to the food pantry along with hats (53), mittens (79 pair) and scarves (26) for the Lutheran Social Services of Iowa (Beloit campus).

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Steve Karsjen (far left), Ames Laboratory public affairs manager presents a
donation for $2,798 from the Holiday Auction to members of Bethesda
Community Food Pantry ministry team: (from left) Ken Kruse, Duane Lien,
Laura Miller and Barb Koester.

Ames Laboratory employees' generosity makes a big difference for the community. For example, the Bethesda Community Food Pantry is able to buy food from the Food Bank of Iowa for 14 cents a pound. That translates into nearly 10 TONS of food that will be distributed to area families in need. In 2012, the Food Pantry served an average of 375 familes per week.

Since it's inception, the Ames Lab holiday auction has raised more than $35,000 for local social service organizations. Bethesda's Food Pantry has received donations annually since 2008, totaling nearly $12,300.

Below are some photos from the Auction.

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Cheryl Carlile asks Kurt Hulsebus for size advice on
on the belt set.
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Carol Cowan makes a bid on a holiday wreath.
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Molly Daub checks out the Starbucks Coffee for a Month.

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Auction elf Steve Carter works to get Konnie Willie-Kennicker to up her bid.
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Tom Lograsso ... or is it Deb Covey ... places a bid.
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Auctioneer Dale Meyer calls for a bid on a bottle of Cedar Ridge Winery Port.
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The auction crowd settles in while others go through the dessert line.
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Ken Ewing examines the most popular silent auction item -- a pistol-shaped bottle of tequila.
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Cathy Long, Mike Dotzler, Steve Gilliland and Ron Berrett sample the holiday fare.
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Rhonda Jones, left, and Sheila Tellinghuisen check out items on the silent aution tables.
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Iver Anderson flashes his Steve Karsjen bidder's paddle during the live auction.
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Mark Murphy visits with former Ames Lab employee Sue Tortellott.
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Nancy Moore just loves having her photo taken!
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John Clough ups the bid on a one-hour massage from Ames Racquet and Fitness.
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Cynthia Jenks celebrates winning the "Fiesta Lunch" on behalf of the Directors' Office.
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Stan Bajic/Duane Johnson bids on an item to the delight of Drew Fullerton (left).

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Steve Karsjen displays the popular tequila shooter set that was won by ... 

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... Terry Herrman, auction helper/reindeer.
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Pat Jenkins, left, settles up with auction clerk and organizer Deb Samuelson.
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The Story County Raising Readers program was the other beneficiary of this year's auction.
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Story County Raising Readers coordinator Carol Elbert expresses her thanks for the auction's support.