Bid numbers were flying throughout the Fort Hays Ballroom Saturday evening in Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union at the fifth annual Tiger Auction and Dinner. Not only was the event an excellent way to kick-off FHSU's 2014-2015 athletic season, but more than $211,000 was raised for Tiger athletics.
More than 450 Tiger fans were in attendance. The auction featured 300-plus items, large and small, and 97 of them were available for the live auction portion. Whether people were looking for a vacation getaway, work by a local artist, or a co-coaching experience at an FHSU game, the auction had something for just about everyone.
"Once again, we were in awe of the generosity of those in attendance and of the items donated for the event," said Curtis Hammeke, director of FHSU athletics.
"Through a unified team effort, this event has provided great resources to enhance our facilities and grow scholarships, which are two integral pieces of the recruiting process," he said. "The Tiger Auction has been instrumental in recent years in allowing us to address both. The fact that we netted $211,000 this year is exciting. This number continues our upward trend throughout the last five years and we hope the event continues to grow."
Before the auction kickoff, Hammeke surprised the crowd with some special guests -- every Tiger student-athlete. Once the 450-plus student-athletes had filled the room, the FHSU marching band began playing the Fort Hays State fight song.
The most successful portion of the night revolved around live auction item No. 40, which concentrated on additional funding for athletic scholarships, which raised more than $72,000. Participants in Item 40 at the $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 levels will be invited to a special reception with a select group of athletes.
"As the committee chairperson this year, I can't say 'thank you' enough to all of the committee volunteers and Fort Hays State University staff for all of their hard work in support of FHSU Athletics," said Kara Moore, chair of the Tiger Auction Committee.
"There's so much planning that takes place for this annual event, and it wouldn't be possible without our committee and the area businesses who donate such great items, as well as those who attend this sold-out event each year," she said. "It's amazing to see the amount of support and Tiger pride that everyone shows towards the athletes."
"I want to especially thank Eagle Communications and the many businesses and individuals who have shown their incredible support to assure the success of the 2014 Tiger Auction and Dinner," said Hammeke.
Mark your calendars for the sixth annual Tiger Auction and Dinner, which is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015