Students at Bid for Hope 2011

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By Kanako, and RIJ student volunteer

Last Friday’s charity auction at the Ritz Carlton was a thrilling but also educational experience for the interns and students of Refugees International Japan.

The night began with selling raffle tickets to guests that arrived, some wearing the most glamorous gowns and outfits, as well as explaining and overseeing the silent auction items just outside of the grand ballroom. The silent auction consisted of many exciting prizes, from signed baseballs and country club memberships, to jewelry. There were some competitiveness over the prizes, especially when the silent auction was nearing the end.

After the guests finished their dinner, the live auctions began in the ballroom. Volunteers, including interns and student volunteers, were asked to take charge of certain tables, to keep tabs of the auction items being won and the prices they were being sold at. The auctioneer was incredibly charming and entertaining, and successfully encouraged the guests to give very generously to support the projects of Refugees International Japan. Live auction items included dinner with the British Ambassador to Japan, safaris, cruises, and many other exceptional prizes. When the live auction ended, volunteers processed the payments and helped pack everything up.

The night was invigorating and was a great opportunity to meet great people. It was also a fantastic way to observe and learn about the workings of large-scale charity events such as this one, under the direction of the organizers and managers of the event.

Thank you to everyone at the event! It was an honor to be able to work with so many friendly, dedicated, and enthusiastic people; and of course, thank you to all the guests that showed such generosity in order to help the refugees and internally displaced people around the world, as well as those recently displaced by the disaster in the Tohoku region. With your help, we raised over 12 million yen this year. We look forward to seeing you all again at next year’s auction!

See more photos by the event photographer, Antony Tran.

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