When the first 12 Lot’s (benches) started bidding at £3000 my first thought was “ah well, at least we’ve raised £1000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity“.
My second thought was “PHEW!! I don’t need to work out what happens next if we win one!!!” Hahaha.
Then, Lot 13, “Girl Power” came on the screen and they started playing the Spice Girls in the background.
And I started to get a tingly feeling in my tummy…
The bidding started at £3K. Then it dropped to £2K. And then it dropped to £1K and I felt my hand shoot up into the air, with the bidding paddle.
Now, it’s a huge responsibility to bid with other people’s money and there was a LOT of expectation. Running a campaign like this is a huge honour and privilege, one which I don’t take lightly.
I was shaking ALL night.
Several of the benches raised £7K and I felt a teeeennny tiny bit out of my league.
Had it not been for Sue, Rachel and Cathy who came with me, I would have been a dribbling mess on the floor.
And then the Auctioneer said, “anymore bids?”…”Anymore?”…
Sue and Rachel were sat next to me and were clutching my arms and I LITERALLY didn’t breathe for about 5 minutes. At least that’s what it felt like.
And somebody put in a bid at £1250.
And that was it.
I thought it was all over.
I think I literally sagged in my chair.
I heard someone behind me bid for £1500. Then the bidding closed.
And then I got a text.
From Laura at The Topiary, who was sat at the back of the auction.
We had a conversation in the week that we would collaborate if things got a bit hairy in the auction and it didn’t look like either of us would get a chance of getting one.
And in her text it said “I’ll give you the £500”. “You can have it xxx”.
So, we got it!
(Not the best pictures as I was STILL shaking at this point. However, I expect to see far better pictures of this bench in the future! lol).
I need to say a HUGE thank you to the following people, without whom we never would have stood a chance.
My beloved husband, Mr NHM, whose encouragement and belief in my “crazy” ideas is never ending.
Sue – who took Miss NHM and I to see our first bench at the Walled Garden and got me caught up in this whole thing!! Your friendship and unfailing support means so much to me.
Rebecca at The Typeface Group who has been so supportive along this whole journey and who kept me going when I got back from holiday at the end of August and I thought I’d lost momentum.
Mark at The Ark for his brilliant support, enthusiasm and encouragement and Michelle for her wonderful support!!
Steve and Charlotte at Festival Place for their support and encouragement.
All of the NHM Ladies who believed we could do it and donated: Wendy, CathyW, Lilian, LauraE, Zoe, Cathy, Karen, Lisa, Helen, Gisella, LauraW, Juliet, Emma, Sue, Sally, Mary, Sarah, Allison, Ceri, Katie, SueS, Victoria, Julie, Rebecca, Jules, Eleanor, Pauline, Michele, Jaz, Rachel, Natasha, Stephany, Kath, Sharon, Sarah, Claire, BeckyT, Lisa, Emily, Pam, Cat, Lyndsey, Rebecca H, Stephanie, Gillian. Thank you!!! You are ALL AWESOME!!!!!
Everyone who entered the competition and helped to raised the profile of the campaign. All of the children looked FANTASTIC!!!!
Mike O’Neil at Action Trophies for his very generous donation.
Nicky from Ma Humbugs Old Fashioned Sweet Shop for her generous donation.
John from Tidal Bay Crazy Adventure Golf for his VERY generous donation (£250!!!) about 30 minutes before the event started. STREEEESSSFFULLLL!!!!! Hahaha
Laura from The Topiary for her INCREDIBLE donation and without whom we never would have stood a chance of getting the bench.
Apologies if there is anyone whom I’ve missed off. I’ve barely slept a wink! lol.
What happens next?
Although I had a very strong feeling that we would get a bench, I hadn’t quite sorted out any of the details about what happens if we actually did!! lol.
I am looking to donate the bench to somewhere that people can still access the bench and where it will be indoors so that it lasts for a very long time. If you have any sensible suggestions please do let me know at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.
Otherwise it’s going on my Mum’s front drive! 😀 😀 :-D.
Also, if you know of anyone who might be able to help me move the bench as it needs to be removed by Monday (18th September 2017), please do get in touch!!!! (Update: Thank you VERY much to JV Bouncy Castle who very kindly donated their time, muscles and van to move the bench from Laura’s garage to the Discovery centre!)
Update July 2018: The bench is now on permanent display for everyone to sit on, at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre in the downstairs lobby area.
Still no plaque though. I’ve given up asking when they will put it up :-(.
I would really love to get a little plaque for the bench which will say:
“I dedicate this bench to all of the Mums, and their children, in North Hampshire”.
We did it.
You are all AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx
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