NAA Toy Auction for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

The top auctioneers in the nation lent their fast-talking skills and high energy to bring smiles and toys to the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers, during the 13th annual Toy Auction, sponsored by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA). The special auction took place on Tuesday, November 11.

During this exciting sale, St. Jude patients and their siblings placed bids on the toys of their choice, using auction paddles and play money. International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) Champions Butch Booker of Colfax, Washington, and Jodi Sweeney of Waukon, Iowa, conducted the live auction with toys donated by the NAA. Randy Wells of Post Falls, Idaho, President of the NAA, also attended and participated in the event.

“I’m humbled and honored to represent the NAA and the auction industry at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Booker. “NAA pledged its support to St. Jude, and our visit helps strengthen our commitment to supporting the children and families who are battling deadly diseases.”

Sweeney added, “I’ve grown up supporting St. Jude through NAA events, but I’ve never had the opportunity to be involved at this level. It was so exciting to be part of this Toy Auction event, and I loved seeing the happiness it brought the courageous children of St. Jude.”

Booker and Sweeney competed against more than 90 auctioneers to win the coveted titles of IAC Champions. The competitors were judged on their presentation, chant, voice quality, body language, and other elements of effective auctioneering. Each Auctioneer won a cash prize and championship trophy, and will now represent the NAA as spokespersons throughout the year.

The NAA formed a partnership with St. Jude in 1995. Since that time, the NAA has led the auction community to raise more than $3.7 million to aid in the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. In 2007, the NAA launched a new fundraising initiative Auction for Hope. Proceeds from these auctions are donated to the hospital, and help? the NAA support St. Jude’s lifesaving work. Each year the NAA announces its fundraising successes on National Auctioneers Day.

Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the National Auctioneers Association represents the interests of approximately 5,000 auctioneers in the United States, Canada, and across the world. Founded in 1949, the mission of the NAA is to promote the auction method of marketing, and to enhance the professionalism of its members through education and technology. In 2007, over $270.7 billion in goods and services were sold at auction.

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally-recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tennesee, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization.

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