The article below was written by Sally Friedman and appeared as a Special to the Burlington County Times on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
It’s become an annual rite of every fall for 23 years, and on Friday, the 24th Holiday Auction sponsored by the Burlington County College Foundation will continue the time-honored tradition.
So popular – and successful – is the event that people have been known to change their vacation schedules to attend.
What’s all the excitement about?
It’s an event that is lively, fun, an adventure in shopping and great food – and, most of all, for a great cause.
The proceeds go toward scholarships for BCC students, and these days, that matters more than ever.
“We’re fortunate to have a group of very loyal donors who support the Holiday Auction each year. All proceeds benefit tuition and book scholarships for BCC students with financial needs,” said Rebecca A. Corbin, executive director of the foundation and acting dean of the BCC Corporate College.
As Corbin explained, the reach of the auction, which is being held at the Westin in Mount Laurel, is wide.
“In the last year alone, the BCC Foundation awarded a record 485 scholarships valued at over $432,000. We expect to raise over $100,000 this year for scholarships, which will help many dreams come true for students who would otherwise not be able to earn a college degree,” she said.
Special honoree this year for its ongoing commitment to the community is the Whitesell Construction Co. in Delran, which has been involved for more than half a century in building, ownership and property management in the commercial real estate market.
The company also has been a longtime supporter of BCC.
James Whitesell, a fourth-generation family member and the vice president of leasing and marketing, turned to a quote from English writer G.K. Chesterton as a touchstone to his own family’s commitment: “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”
“As a 55-year old company, we’ve experienced growth due to the hard work, soul, and also the knowledge passed down from several generations of Whitesell Construction Co. folks,” said Whitesell, who also credited the efforts of the local business community and its leaders with enabling the company’s growth.
“Our growth has definitely been affected by the community’s expansion as we deliver services in support of constituent needs,” said Whitesell, whose father, Tom, has been a respected industry leader for decades.
The Company firmly believes that continuing education and training programs are part of the road map to help prepare people for present and future jobs. Whitesell said it’s not just his family but also the entire company staff that loyally supports practical, future-directed education.
“As a longtime supporter of Burlington County College, Whitesell is really proud and honored to be recognized at this year’s BCC Foundation Holiday Auction,” he said.
The event includes silent and live auctions, with a smorgasbord of unique items. Bidders may win trips to Jamaica, a Phillies package that includes the best seats in the house, and indulgences such as spa visits, fine accessories and jewelry, and gift baskets.
Student volunteers will guide guests through the dozens of auction items and, in the process, have a chance to practice social skills and networking opportunities.
IF YOU GO
The Burlington County College Foundation’s 24th annual Holiday Auction is at 6 p.m. Friday at the Westin, 555 Fellowship Road, Mount Laurel.
The event includes hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, buffet supper, and silent and live auctions.
Tickets are $100.
For more information, call 856-222-9311, ext. 2540.