Event Review: Flour City 3rd Annual Dessert Auction and Fundraiser (Rochester, NY)


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Event Name:  Flour City 3rd Annual Dessert Auction
Purpose:        To raise funds Love 146 and The Center for Youth, and to create awareness about child trafficking and exploitation.
Location:      Rochester Auditorium Theatre, 875 East Main Street, Rochester, NY (Hosted by Grace Road Church).
When:            Friday, March 6, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Cost:              $12 per table seat, $10 balcony seat (charitable donation)

Event Overview

For over 12 years, Love146 has helped grow the movement to provide effective and thoughtful solutions in the fight to end child trafficking. They work tirelessly to not only provide care for the survivors of abuse, but also to prevent it from happening and raise public awareness.

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This purpose of this dessert auction was to raise funds and awareness about child sex trafficking and exploitation. It included a live auction of 30+ professionally baked cakes and pastries, donated by local bakeries, and a silent auction of almost 2 dozen baked goods donated by home bakers. In addition, various prizes were distributed throughout the evening via a fundraising raffle.

Attendees were assigned a numbered bidding paddle for the live auction. The auctioneer, Robert Bannister, was exceptionally entertaining, as he expertly led the live auction.

The guest speaker, Rob Morris, President of Love146, addressed the crowd. He spoke of the plight of trafficked children not only around the world, but also right here in Rochester. I was surprised to learn that Love146 has assisted trafficked children in every zip code in Monroe County, where this fundraiser was held.

At intermission, we were treated to the acoustic sounds of Woodland Row, a brother and sister duo of Hannah Moore on vocals and Cotter Moore on guitar and vocals. I enjoyed listening to the music of this young and very talented team.

With over 200 attendees, plus a myriad of volunteer organizers and representatives from local and national organizations, the event was well attended. However there was still room for more, so please consider attending next year!

The Venue

Held at the Auditorium Theatre (Rochester, NY) and hosted by Grace Road Church, which holds services there, this event was held in the fourth floor Cathedral Room. The Auditorium Theatre was built in 1928 and was originally the site of the Masonic Temple of Rochester, NY. The part of the building containing the Auditorium Theatre was purchased by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) in 2003.

Auditorium Theater inside 3rd Annual Flour City Dessert Auction, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Auditorium Theater inside 3rd Annual Flour City Dessert Auction, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

The Cathedral Room is a grand ballroom, with beautiful ornamental plaster walls and ceilings. The burgundy carpet nicely offset the 20+ round tables covered in black linen. The stage served as a perfect backdrop to showcase the speakers and the auctioneer, as well as the desserts being auctioned.

Parking for the event was free and conveniently located in the adjoining lot. The seemingly antique elevator was large but a little bumpy. However, it did its job well, getting us to and from the fourth floor safely.

Food and Beverages

Sandwiches provided by The Corner Bakery, Photo Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Sandwiches provided by The Corner Bakery, Photo Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

The Corner Bakery provided a kaleidoscope of sandwiches and cheese, crackers and fruit for the event attendees.  Sandwich choices ranged from turkey, roast beef, and chicken salad, to mozzarella, and roasted vegetable. They were offered on a variety of breads, including rye, white, wheat, and pretzel rolls.

In addition to food, beverages were also available. Coffee was provided by Java’s Cafe.  Delicious hot Chai Tea was available from The Chai Guy (owner Pat Tharp). You absolutely have to try this Chai Tea! You can find him at the Rochester Public Market or check out his Facebook page.

The Live Auction

These people came to bid, and bid they did!  Each bidder was assigned a bidding paddle, to be raised in the air to denote a bid.  There were a few good-natured bidding wars, which kept us all keenly interested in the action.

I was inspired by the generosity of the bidders, with most bids starting at $50. The winning bids ranged from $45 for an assortment of Greek sweets (and a $25 gift card) from Voula’s Greek Sweets to $700 for a two-tier cake from Shell’s Sweets. My unofficial tally of funds raised from just the Live Auction portion of the event was over $7500, with an average winning bid of just over $230 per item.

Some bidders pooled together bids from their table and purchased items as a group.  For example, our table pooled our funds together to buy cupcakes from Dolce Cupcakery.  The assortment included vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate, toffee, can chocolate raspberry cupcakes, shown in the photo below.

Live Auction Cupcakes by Dolce Cupcakery - $250 winning bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Auction Cupcakes by Dolce Cupcakery – $250 winning bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

The top three highest bids in the Live Auction were as follows:

Highest bid  – $700

  • This bid was for a seven-layer-two tier cake from Shell’s Sweets. The bottom tier consisted of of dark chocolate with three layers of butter cream and the top tier was made of snickerdoodle.

Second/Third highest bid (tie)- $650 each

  • A 14″ round vanilla donut cake with chocolate sprinkles, chocolate butter cream frosting and   Mike and Ike’s sprinkles.
  • A 10″ round white vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream frosting, topped with fresh                     strawberries and blueberries, from Upper Crust Bakery.

Unfortunately, the live auction items were not available for viewing prior to the auction, nor was a listing or description of the items made available to bidders. I would have liked to see a printed listing and description of each item, with information on who donated it.

Shown below are a few of the live auction items.  Note that the photos below were taken after the desserts were wrapped for transport home.  As mentioned, we were not allowed access to the live auction items before bidding, so I had to sneak a few photos of the winners as they were being wrapped.

Live Auction Mad Hatter Cake, $325 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Auction Mad Hatter Cake, $325 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Auction Cream Puff Tower by Finas Cafe - $350 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Auction Cream Puff Tower by Finas Cafe – $350 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

 

Live Auction white cake with buttercream and chocolate ganache by Goodness Bakery, $170 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Live Auction white cake with butter cream and chocolate ganache by Goodness Bakery, $170 Winning Bid, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

The following business donated either baked goods or funds to the Flour City 3rd Annual Dessert Auction:

  • 2 Vine
  • Affaire de Chocolat
  • Cheesy Eddie’s
  • Corner Bakery
  • Darn Good Cookie Company
  • Dolce Cupcakery
  • Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery
  • Encore Chocolates, Inc.
  • Erindipity’s Cake Studio
  • Finas Cafe
  • Get Caked
  • Goodness Cake Bakery Ltd.
  • Great Harvest Bread
  • Hedonist Artisan Chocolates
  • Java’s Cafe
  • Magnolias
  • Malek’s Brighton Bakery
  • Melting Pot
  • Olive Garden
  • Premier Pastry
  • Pres
  • Roam Cafe
  • Rochester, NY Wedding Cake
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factor
  • Savoia Pastry Shoppe
  • Shell’s Sweets
  • Sips Cafe
  • The Chai Guy
  • The Peppermill Restaurant
  • Tops Family Market
  • Upper Crust Cakery
  • Voula’s Greek Sweet
  • Watson’s Chocolate
  • Wegmans Food Markets

The Silent Auction

Another facet of the fundraiser was the Silent Auction. To take part, I purchased five tickets for a total of $5.00.  My sister-in-law was kind enough to buy extra tickets on my behalf – isn’t she sweet?  I then perused the few dozen or so cakes, pies, cupcakes, etc. which were baked and donated by home bakers.  They were displayed in a separate room, each with a number and a paper bag available to collect your ticket. I placed each of my tickets in a bag associated with the dessert which I would like to win.

The winning numbers were projected onto the overhead screen at the end of the evening. I am happy to report that I was the recipient of a home-made pecan pie! My brother Vince and his wife Susan and their daughter were also winners – they won a large plate of Thumbprint cookies!

Shown below are some of the other sumptuous desserts which were baked and donated to the silent auction by home bakers. They include a chocolate cream Pie, chocolate ganache cake, carrot cake, fruit cheesecake (assorted flavors), chocolate cupcakes with chocolate whipped cream frosting, and chocolate cookie dough cupcakes. These are just a sampling of the donated items for the silent auction – there was something to please everyone.

Silent Auction Chocolate Cream Pie, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Chocolate Cream Pie, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Cakes, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Cakes: Chocolate Ganache Cake and Carrot Cake, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Assorted Fruit Cheesecake, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Assorted Fruit Cheesecake, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Chocolate Cupcakes, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate whipped cream frosting, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Silent Auction Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

Overall Impression

The Flour City 3rd Annual Dessert Auction event was truly inspiring. I was inspired by the dedicated people who lead organizations such as these, to fight for children who can’t fight for themselves. I was inspired by the businesses and people who donated time, money, desserts, and other items to this cause. I was also inspired by the auctioneer who donated his services, the bidders who were so generous in their giving, and the organizers who gave tirelessly.

The cause is a sobering one, but the atmosphere of the event was joyous and hopeful. Please consider attending next year. If you can’t wait until then to make a difference, then please consider donating to Love 146. 


About Love 146

From https://love146.org/
Love146 is an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention. The trafficking and exploitation of children is one of the darkest stories and most severe human rights abuses imaginable. Love146 is helping grow the movement to end child trafficking while providing effective, thoughtful solutions.

THEIR VISION IS THE ABOLITION OF CHILD TRAFFICKING AND EXPLOITATION. NOTHING LESS.
THEIR MISSION: Abolition and Restoration! They combat child trafficking & exploitation with the unexpected and restore survivors with excellence.

Why 146?
“We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children…raped each night… seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl….”

We have taken her number so that we remember why this all started. So that we must tell her story.
It is a number that was pinned to one girl, but it represents the millions enslaved.

– Robert Morris, President and Co-founder – Love146


Other Resources:

Representatives from the following organization were also represented at this fundraising event:

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® provides services, resources and technical assistance to child victims of abduction and sexual exploitation, their families and the professionals who serve them.
  • The Rochester Center for Youth
    The Rochester Center for Youth is committed to empowering and advocating for our youth through homeless and runaway youth services, and school-based programs. Annually, they provide emergency shelter for 300 youth, 20,000 meals, 2500+ crisis interventions, 9000 nights of safety to young people and infants.  The Safe Harbour Program provides case coordination and advocacy for commercially sexually exploited (CES) youth.

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