Written by Denys Collins
Over 100 people attended the Autism Society of Alaska’s first Beer and Wine Tasting Silent Auction on October 5th, 2017. The money raised will go a long way towards helping Alaskan families impacted by autism. The auction and tasting, which took place at Roundup Steakhouse, made over $9,000 through ticket and auction item sales.
This festive event was highlighted by an impressive amount of widely varied items generously donated including:
- Fully stocked fishing boat rental
- Cabin stay
- Art by Alaskan artist Karla Morreira
- Gift certificates for the Nutcracker Ballet
- An entire table of homemade desserts
While bidding on items, attendees were able to try numerous types of beers, wines, and spirits including Alaskan made whiskeys from Arctic Harvest. The tasting tables and auction items began in the lower level of Roundup Steakhouse then flowed upstairs, stocking the second level. Sounds of friends and families engaging in lighthearted bidding wars and conversations filled the restaurant. We were even lucky enough to have Michelle Garcia Winner, the creator of Social Thinking and keynote speaker from this year’s Autism Conference, join the fun.
The atmosphere of this event was unlike many of those we have previously held. This allowed for a new group of generous community members to help support local individuals that experience autism and their families. This was one of our most successful events yet. We were able to raise over $9,000 which will allow us to continue:
- Holding trainings for first responders
- Accommodate sensory friendly events
- Hosting Community Enrichment Nights
- Accessing resources for individuals and families
It truly was a community event from those that planned the event to those that ran it. It would not have been possible without the assistance of countless people. Gene Lunney, the owner of Roundup Steakhouse’s hospitality and kindness are unsurpassed. He provided not only the venue but also the food and alcohol. The help of Paige Talvi, Stefanie Bell, and their crew of volunteers was invaluable. They were vital to the solicitation of amazing donations, the beautiful set up, and the quick and painless check out. As a non profit, we are nothing without the community that supports us. It was a beautiful night watching the community come together to support local families impacted by autism.
*All photos courtesy of our amazing volunteer photographer, Chelsey Klos with Willow Photography