Held biannually since its inception in 1989, the auction raises money for the athletic programs at NSU. It also allows for fans to meet players from the 12 NCAA-team sports the Demons and Lady Demons participate in.
“I think it’s very important [for our fans and supporters to meet our athletes at this event],” said Patric DuBois, assistant athletic director for special projects for Northwestern State. “A lot of times our fans or supporters get to see things from afar and they always get to see them in an intense situation. But on this evening, all our student-athletes will be dressed up and looking nice. They’ll get to take a breath, visit fans and enjoy the visit.”
This year, Bank of Montgomery, Southland Printing, and Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits are teaming up with the auction to make it more of a success.
In 2011, over 400 people packed into the Natchitoches Events Center as over $80,000 was raised for the auction. This year, DuBois hopes that more people show up and has a goal of $100,000 as the event moves back into a renovated Prather Coliseum.
“This is something new this year,” DuBois said. “Southland Printing, Bank of Montgomery and Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits are allowing us to take this event to a higher level, because through their donations, we’re allowed to dress up these live auction items. These items are exciting to people. There’s going to be a lot of people who want to bid on these items.”
There will be two silent auctions and a live auction during the event as participants will get to bid on items donated by the community. Artwork, jewelry, gift baskets and sports memorabilia are among the many valuables that will be bid on in the two silent auctions.
“All of our items are donated, which is how we raise these funds,” DuBois said. “We’re very fortunate for the whole Natchitoches community to get involved. Those businesses have been generous and donated items from their place of business, which a majority of them, we put in the silent auctions.”
The list of the items in the live auction will be just as attractive to bidders. Bidders will get to compete for a trips to either see NSU travel to play the Cincinnati Bearcats, the New Orleans Saints play at Seattle versus the Seahawks or at home against the Buffalo Bills or Arizona Cardinals or leisure trips to Costa Rica or Hawaii.
“When you get airfare and condominiums and going to Hawaii for a week involved and all you have to worry about is getting to the airport, that’s a pretty good deal,” DuBois said. “These major sponsors have allowed us to make these items all encompassing, which is an attractive deal to people.”
With the hopeful turnout and the items being attractive, there is hope that it could increase competition between the bidders.
“Everybody out there wants something, so if you can find two or more people who want a specific item, they’re going to go bid against each other.”