Lebanon Family Health Services is hosting its 30th annual Travel & Leisure Auction Nov. 13. Instead of its traditional in-person auction, this year’s event is switching gears to a virtual auction. And, there’s no charge to register as a bidder. The 24-hour event kicks off at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13.
“This is the 30th year for the auction, but it’s the first time it will be a virtual auction. We switched it up to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. Having it as a virtual event may encourage more people to participate—both those in the local community and people from across the country,” said Vicki DeLoatch, LFHS vice president finance and marketing.
She explained that the event is generally held in mid-November, and the date is set about a year in advance. It had traditionally been an evening event. “Supporters and advertisers covered the cost of the event itself so auction proceeds were used to fund the services we provide to the community,” DeLoatch said.
Although the auction is moving online, there will still be a wide variety of items. “We have something for everyone’s taste,” she said.
This year there’s more of a local flavor to the auction’s travel options including a week in the fall in Mt. Gretna, a stay at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and a trip to the family-friendly Kalahari Resort in the Poconos. Other auction items include restaurant and theater gift certificates, golf packages, quilts, locally crafted jewelry, Holiday tins, Holiday cheer baskets, and other gift baskets.
A number of in-home dining experiences are available including a small plate part for 20, a lox and bagels brunch and dinner for eight from Chef on the Go! New this year is a virtual wine tasting from a Napa valley winery, folded book art, a firepit crafted by E & E Metals, and a private treasure hunt—an after-hours shopping experience at Leitzel’s Jewelry. There are also a number of items for children.
Typically an in-person auction raises $35,000 to $40,000, with $40,000 as the goal. “This year we’d like to reach our normal goal, but an online event has different expectations. We also recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a financial impact on people, so we’ve set the goal at $30,000,” DeLoatch explained.
The Travel & Leisure auction is one of several special fundraisers LFHS hosts throughout the year; and it’s the largest and longest running event. DeLoatch said philanthropic support from the community represents 12- to 15% (about $250,000) of the organization’s budget on an annual basis.
LFHS held its first virtual event in June, an art event called Splash of Color. “We’re sad we can’t be in-person this year, but excited for the new opportunities to reach a new group of people,” DeLoatch said.
She said LFHS has been open through Gov. Wolf’s “stay at-home” order and has continued to provide services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. LFHS provides about 45,000 visits annually with services that include reproductive and prenatal healthcare, men’s health, WIC (special supplemental nutrition program for Women Infants & Children), a walk-in clinic and a teen clinic as well as a number of educational programs. It’s located in the Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Center, 615 Cumberland St., Lebanon.
For more information about the auction or to register as a bidder, visit the events page at www.lebanonfamilyhealth.org.
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An earlier version of this article stated that the event began on Nov. 15. In fact, it concludes on Nov. 15 and begins on Nov. 13. We sincerely regret the error.