Beth Ahm's auction is entertaining evening out

By Rachel Hill - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Tue., Mar. 22, 2011
Ted Groenstein hands out flashing necklaces for the ‘Heads and Tails’ auction game at Congregation Beth Ahm. He is photographed here with Mary Chepovsky. Photos by Rachel Hill.
Ted Groenstein hands out flashing necklaces for the ‘Heads and Tails’ auction game at Congregation Beth Ahm. He is photographed here with Mary Chepovsky. Photos by Rachel Hill.

Who put the “fun” in “fundraiser?” On March 12, there was no shortage of fun to be had at Congregation Beth Ahm. Holding their 29th annual “Beat the Clock Auction,” a long-standing tradition for this synagogue, a crowd of about 200 people participated in Beth Ahm’s largest community fundraiser of the year.

With loads of great items to bid on, there were four different ways to get in the game. Those who wished to race against the clock could participate in the namesake “Beat the Clock” auction, which employed the use of a buzzer that sounded on a timer. Always full of surprises, bidders could also guess at what they were bidding on in the blind auction portion of the evening, where clues were given to reveal the prizes at the end. There was also a silent auction and, new this year, the “Heads or Tails” contest, where you flip a coin and flashing necklaces are purchased to win a 42-inch flat-screen television.

Prizes at the auction could be viewed as one-stop shopping for such divers things as an autographed Red Sox baseball, a limousine ride and a safari trip to Africa, a few of the many prizes in the auction. You could even find a mandolin or a Kindle, all in one night.
Michele Karasik said she attends Beth Ahm’s auction every year, and this year she had her eye on an office chair. Auctioneer Harry Freeman said they auctioned off 180 items in 180 minutes, to be exact.

“(The auction) works because of our dedicated volunteers,” Freeman said. Thanking the committees who organized the evening, he said, “The amount of time that was put into this was incredible.” He also wanted to thank the vendors who made donations to the auction.  

Cay Freeman is a member of the synagogue and said that the Beat the Clock Auction is important for keeping Beth Ahm’s programs going in terms of youth, education, outreach and social programs.

Masterminding much of the effort were auction co-chairs Karen Groenstein and Laura Soll-Broxterman. Soll-Broxterman spoke of the Beth Ahm community as a whole.

“This [auction] is an opportunity for people outside our community to get to know us. It introduces us to a whole new audience. Our members are from all over. Beth Ahm embraces interfaith families no matter their spirituality. Everyone is welcome, so you don’t get lost here. We hope that people who attended this evening will remember us fondly,” said Soll-Broxterman.

In terms of the work involved in putting Beat the Clock together, Soll-Broxterman said it was a team effort and added, “We do it out of love.”


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