The Auction is the culmination of months of planning and work behind the scenes. The Willows mansion is decorated for the event, all items are prepared for display, invitations are sent out, catering is arranged, etc. but the auction would be nothing without the items being sold. These items are donated by individual families, patrols, alumni, and local businesses thanks to their generosity and support of Scouting.
The doors usually open at 6pm with hors d'oeuvres, and wraps up around 11pm. The auction is broken into two sections:
The first portion of the event is an informal social event. Items are placed on display with cards for interested individuals to write their bid down. Others might come around and bid higher on the same item so bidders should watch the items they are interested in and make certain to get in the last bid. Meanwhile, the silent auction is catered with light food and an open bar. Typically their is also a musician adding to the atmosphere with a constant performance.
Once the silent auction has ended, all present take seats in a side room for the live auction. Items are brought forward for brief display and then the bidding begins in the style one might be more familiar. Often a few items will be fought over until the price has soared.
With the conclusion of the live auction, the event is concluded. All successful bidders should pick up their items as the party winds down.