Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sybermoms' Auction for Autism

Just wanted to post a news release from a parenting forum that I frequent. You do have to register there to participate in the auction, but it's free (go to register in the menu at the top & follow directions - note that you do not need to be a "paid member" to participate in the auction). I donated an autographed copy of The Mommy Myth, by Susan Douglas & Meredith Michaels (autographed by Ann Arbor resident & UM professor Douglas) and a Kiss My Axe cd by HRT - it will be in the auction listed as "Women with Axes to Grind". :-)

Sybermoms Holding Two-Day Auction to Benefit Autism Research

March, 2005 -- Message board members will once again be participating in a two-day online auction at www.sybermoms.com, which is scheduled to begin the evening of April 6th, 2006 with a 24-hour auction and to close out Friday evening, April 7th with a live auction.

“The days leading up to the auction are always filled with tons of work and stress, and you find yourself thinking, ‘I can't wait for this to be over,’ said Megan Perkins, Sybermoms' Auction Co-Coordinator, mother of three and home business owner of The Fanciful Frog. “And then when you get an early count of how much has been raised, all of the hard work, the time and effort, the sleepless nights -- they all fade away. Because it's at that moment that you are reminded what you are working toward. How many lives you're going to touch. How amazing, truly amazing, it is for virtual strangers to come together to do something of this magnitude.”

This auction, to benefit The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc., is the latest in a long history of philanthropy from Sybermoms.com. This is the sixth auction the board has hosted in three years

“The volunteers have done such a beautiful job,” said Kristi Mildon, a Sybermoms co-owner. “They have spent endless hours behind the scenes coordinating donations, displaying and describing them, and then making the whole thing run smoothly; they have done a fantastic job! It really makes me feel lucky to be a part of something so wonderful and to be able to help those who need it most.”

Michelle Waters, co-owner of the parenting message board and owner of Watersweb Solutions LLC, the Enid, Oklahoma company that hosts the site, said that there have been hundreds of items donated for the various auctions from people in countries around the world, including Japan, Great Britain and Australia.

“Sybermoms are amazing. Several women have been planning this auction, step by step, for many months. They are volunteers from across the United States and Canada who have never met – but have come together to raise money for a cause that has touched each of them deeply, particularly as parents,” Waters said.

The donated items typically include hand-made crafts/clothing, regional and specialty-themed gift baskets, collectibles and memberships at the site, among other things. Members go to great lengths to offer unique, unusual items they know will appeal to the bidders. Each member who donates an auction item also agrees to be responsible for shipping that item to the winning bidder. Additionally, several businesses are solicited for further donations of items to be auctioned off.

Sybermoms have historically shown generosity and goodwill in their auction donations and purchases. Members formed a team to walk the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Breast Cancer 3-Day in the United States and the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Canada, raising nearly $60,000 in 2004 and over $60,000 in 2005 for breast cancer research. That tally was raised almost exclusively through Sybermoms, both through donations and online auctions in December 2003 and the spring of 2004 and 2005. The auctions alone raised more than $40,000.

In addition, Sybermoms held an auction in December of 2004 to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, raising $7,169, and pledged a combined $21,343 in bids during a similar, collaborative two-day auction in February 2005 that was donated to the American Friends Service Committee, who in turn donated 100 percent of the funds to tsunami relief efforts in the affected countries.

Sybermoms.com, Inc. is a California company owned by several women from across the United States and Canada. The site started as a parenting community for mothers in May 2002. Waters said the site’s philosophy is to provide a place where parents can speak their minds – and support one another in their efforts to raise and protect their children.

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