The Harlow Auction, for me, is one of those annual events that I spend so much time prepping for, that, by the time I'm actually there, it takes me half the event to unwind and savor all that it's about. Fortunately, the Harlow Auction lasts for about 4 hours....so even if it takes me a while to chill....I've still got time. =)
This is a big part of the reason the event gets me a little wound up. I've been volunteering to supply desserts for the Dessert Auction for the past 5 years - and I try my best to step up to the plate to bring something folks would feel worthy of pooling their money in to "purchase" for their dessert. I've found that by adding multiple topping options to a simple vanilla bean cheesecake, I have the best chance at pleasing the majority of folks at any given table. (Our table is very selective and picky in what we like and don't like...so this comes from experience).
I made a huge rookie mistake this year, though - in not making the cheesecake the night before. (What was I thinking?!). So I was rushing around once we returned from Michele's to get both cheesecakes (there were two of these offered) in the oven, out to cool, and then in to chill before the party started. Pretty much all of Saturday was devoted to preparation for this event in one form or another.
Stiff competition in terms of all of these amazing desserts supplied by volunteers and local bakeries.
In the past, the Leightons (Kenady's parents) have been our guests at our table along with the Whites and Quigleys. However, Kenady had a tournament in Portland they couldn't miss, so we asked the Harris' to step in. This was actually the second year we asked them as the Leightons couldn't make last year either - but, Christi had to cancel at the last minute last year because she was in labor with Elsie! (Excuses, excuses!). Nothing like that happened this year - but, I do have liberty now to reveal the secret that she is expecting again! YIPPEEEEE!!! Elsie will be a big sister come June...just 18 months apart. I'm so happy for them - and they are thrilled too...though it might have happened just a tad earlier than they anticipated. =)
A whole new twist to our involvement in this event is having our own kids assist in serving the tables of those attending the event. Brayden and Ellie didn't make it this year, but Traig, Nati, and Mikayla were all donned in white shirts and black slacks to demonstrate their talents as future waiters or waitresses.
We actually had a gentleman stop us last week at church to let us know what a great job Mikayla did...she was probably the youngest there - and it showed given how tiny she looked compared to everyone else. But, you wouldn't know it based on all of her effort.
Travis was unable to make it this year due to an impromptu trip with his brother-in-law. So, we sent out a last minute invite to Steph Hoffman and she was able to come! Yay! So, we all posed as the "Steph Triplets". =)
This is such a huge fundraiser for Camp Harlow - and every year they hope and pray that funds would come in to supply scholarships for campers, money allocated to pay for staff, and upgrades for the camp. Every year the money raised has exceeded the last, and this year was no exception.
The dessert dash, by itself, raised nearly $17,000 - not bad when you consider it was just 43 table groups bidding. This was the dessert we scored - a cheesecake within a cake - with salted caramel. Delicious. (And, for history sake, I guess I will go ahead and boast a bit by mentioning that one of my cheesecakes was picked first and the other cheesecake picked third....so, in a way, I helped to contribute about $2000 right there (the winning bid was $1300). Obviously, it wasn't my money that got pitched in....but, it made me feel good to know I helped nonetheless!)
By the time the evening ended, I was in such a great mood - it is such an uplifting event and always a delight to spend quality time catching up with such special people. Definitely a highlight event of the season!