Silent auction donations needed for TDMH fundraising golf tourney

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The 22nd Annual TDMH Tillsonburg News Invitational at The Bridges on Friday, Sept. 5 is full of golfers.

There is a long list of gold patrons, silver patrons, platinum hole sponsors, gold hole sponsors and donors.

But there is still a need for more silent auction items, said organizing committee member Bill Cuddy.

"A lot of community businesses have already come forward with items," said organizing committee chairperson David Corner. "We just need a few more."

"The silent auction is the tip of the iceberg," said Cuddy, noting there are established costs associated with running a golfing fundraiser that are offset by sponsorship and golfer fees, all of which are known numbers.

The silent auction is critical, he said, when it comes to reaching their annual goal of $35,000, because every year it's 'the unknown.'

"It's so important," he said, noting the hardest thing the committee needs to do is get commitment from people.

"But what some people don't know is they can donate cash. Or something significant – like a week cottage rental, time share, or jewelery donation. So if any of the local businesses have something in their inventory that they would like to donate, it would be ideal for the silent auction. Whatever they bring in, it generates money that helps pay off this piece of (hospital) equipment that much sooner."

As an example, Tillsonburg Tire is offering $500 on a silent auction item toward a set of winter tires.

"Any brand they choose, we'll cover the first $500," said Cuddy. "That's the kind of thing we'd like to get from a lot of other businesses."

One of the big items up for auction is golf at Magna.

"All golfers know what that means," said Corner.

"It's exclusive," Cuddy nodded.

Only silent auction items are required. Live auctions add time to an event, said Cuddy, and they want to respect people's time.

"Another thing you try to do at the golf tournament is stop people from going to their pockets unless they voluntarily want to. That's why the silent auction works, there's no pressure to put your name on the piece of paper. They do it voluntarily."

What also makes it work, said Cuddy, is Corner's time management skills.

"In 10 minutes we'll be shutting it down," Cuddy smiled, "then five minutes... you have one more minute. Our job on the committee is to make this event flow."

If you have an item for the silent auction, or if you would like to make a cash donation for the silent auction, contact Corner at the TDMH Foundation office 519-842-3611 ext 5311, or email david.corner@tdmh.on.ca.

Over the past two decades, the TDMH Tillsonburg News Invitational has raised more than $630,000, which has gone directly to the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital to purchase equipment that otherwise would not have been possible.

"That's a good number," said Cuddy.

This year's goal is $35,000, said Corner. Funds raised this year will go toward a $225,000 anesthesia system, featuring the "latest, greatest technology" to support the work of TDMH surgeons.

"There are over 2,000 surgeries a year," noted Corner.

"The hospital is something that all of us have to use at some point in our lives," said Cuddy.

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