First I want to say that I am sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I lost my husband, the love of my life, my Jacques, 6 years ago this November 10th. I am organizing my 2nd Annual Memorial Silent Auction Benefit and I thought I would share a few things with you that may help. When I first started planning for the 1st Benefit - I was originally going to do something like what I think a tricky tray is. Is this where you have items and people purchase raffle tickets and then put the raffle tickets in the bin that is for the item they hope to win? If it is - that is a good fundraiser - but to raise more money it is much better to have a Silent Auction - this is where you have bid sheets in front of each item and people put their name and the amount they want to bid on the sheet - as the night goes on others can out bid them. You set a time for the bidding to stop and collect the bid sheets - and then announce the winning bidders. Many people may wind up with winning bids on several items - but they only have to write one check. You will need help to compile the bids and collect the money. Last year was the first time I held a Benefit and I raised $5,000. My 2nd Annual Event is coming up on October 26th and it is going to be bigger and better. I know that you are doing this in conjunction with Bingo Night, which is great because your grandmother loved Bingo. My benefit is held at a restaurant and will consist of a Silent Auction, appetizers, cash bar, and entertainment (the band is donating their time and the restaurant is charging $15 per person for some pretty amazing appetizers that will be passed all night - Tickets are $25 - so $10 per person goes to the CCF. People really love it as they come and bid, dance, and reminisce as we honor and remember my Jacques. This year we are also honoring Becki Mignogna who lost her battle with cholangiocarcinoma in January - her son Rob is very involved helping with this fundraiser. Tickets are $25 per person. The success of this Benefit depends on the creative and interesting items we receive as donations. We get many items from local businesses and also family and friends such as: Gift Certificates to local restaurants, stores, florists, spas, tickets to shows, sporting venues, local attractions, toys, tools, vacation packages, hotel stays, handcrafted items, sporting goods, electronics, Theme baskets etc.
Don't be afraid to go to the chain restaurants in your community - they usually have a department that deals with donations and it only takes filling out a form - the ones I have dealt with were done online.
If you have any questions - feel free to email me. I can tell you that organizing a Benefit is a lot of work - but the feeling of contributing and making a difference is all worth it and everyone that attends will have a great time for a great cause.