FlipSide Face

FlipSide Face

by Kate Paulman

She can raise $4,000 in just two hours or $10,000 in one year.

As president of the Simpson Guild, Becky Beaman quoted impressive statistics.

“All that money goes back to students,” Beaman said. “We’ve bought furniture, hardware, software – things that people or departments need but don’t have the budget for.”

Beaman, secretary to the academic dean, served as vice president of the Guild last year.

“It sounds nice and easy, but there’s a lot of background work to it that I didn’t even realize until I became president,” she said.

Beaman said it’s the “good-hearted people” involved with the Guild who make it so successful.

“The auction is a charity event,” she said. “People sometimes go there thinking they’ll get something unique dirt-cheap, but usually end up paying quite a bit – and every one of them says, ‘Oh, the money goes for a good cause.’ I think that’s really neat.”

Most of the Guild’s fund-raisers are held during the fall semester, making it a busier time than normal for Beaman – but it’s also an advantage.

“People are in the holiday gift-giving and shopping mode during the fall,” she said.

The Elves Auction, one of the Guild’s annual fund-raisers, raised approximately $4,000 this year. The Guild averages between $10-15,000 a year.

“The neat thing about the Elves Auction is the majority of the gifts that they auction off are from Guild members, and the Guild members turn around and bid them up.”

One member in particular donates some very expensive fudge, served on paper plates.

“And they start out at maybe $30-40 a plate,” Beaman said. “They’ve gone for over $100 a plate.”

A professional auctioneer runs the event.

“The auctioneer this year, he tried to get every penny out of us that he could,” Beaman said. “If he went in $10 increments and all of a sudden it stopped, he’d start going in $5 increments, or $1. Then he’d say, ‘How about fifty cents?’ Then somebody would nod and it’d start all over again. It’s really fun.”

Beaman also has fun as secretary to Academic Dean Bruce Haddox.

“He’s got such a sense of humor and I really appreciate that,” Beaman said. “But by the same token, I’m glad for him that he can retire and enjoy his family. There won’t ever be another Bruce Haddox. He’s just one of a kind.”