Holiday Party and Auction Fun!

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Once again the year ended with our annual DCGIA Holiday Party and Auction. And what a blast it was! Good company, great food, and lots of fun items to bid on. And if that is not enough, it was all for the good cause of allowing the Washington DC Chapter GIA Alumni to bring excellent speakers and programs to the DC area�s gem and jewelry professionals and enthusiasts.

At the silent auction table, new secretary Donna Sibley, left, thinks,

At the silent auction table, new secretary Donna Sibley, left, thinks, “Should I or shouldn’t I bid on it???” while Trisha Reaves says “absolutely, I want it!!”

At silent auction table, Dennis Nelson, Michael Veasley with Mila Gonzalez prepare to bid while John Lees admires the goods!

At silent auction table, Dennis Nelson, Michael Veasley with Mila Gonzalez prepare to bid while John Lees admires the goods!

Kathy Refai and Kathleen Ewell discuss bidding strategies.

Kathy Refai and Kathleen Ewell discuss bidding strategies.

For the first time the gathering was held at the Fairview Park Marriott, in Falls Church, Virginia. The room was filled with members and guests and seven tables held mountains of donations. The 300+ items ranged from the generous donation of a brand new jewelers workbench, donated by James Burick of the �Jewelers Warehouse,� to beautiful food-baskets and wines. Many great books, plenty of gemological equipment, unique jewelry and a colorful array of gems kept everyone busy at the silent auction tables. Handcrafted items like beautiful pewter cups made by Bruce Gaber, appropriately accompanied by a bottle of Saki, shed light on the many talents of the chapter�s members. The items were varied enough to fit every budget and everyone seemed happy to go home with the items they most wanted.

Audrey Hagedorn and Bobby Mann try to out bid each other at the silent auction table.

Audrey Hagedorn and Bobby Mann try to out bid each other at the silent auction table.

Brenda Forman and Carolyn Chappell seem to be having a very good time.

Brenda Forman and Carolyn Chappell seem to be having a very good time.

Our diamond necklace auctioneer Bruce Gaber.

Our diamond necklace auctioneer Bruce Gaber.

The bidding was lively and our auctioneers, Bobby Mann, Bruce Gaber and Carolyn Chappell, kept things moving at a good pace, with good jokes and a lot of good cheer sprinkled throughout. On one occasion fierce bidding erupted between the auctioneers themselves, who in the process tried to convince each other that �Friends don�t let friends drink White Zinfandel…� You had to be there…! Certainly all of the auctioneers deserved a heartfelt toast after an evening of hard work.

Bobby Mann auctioning another priceless bauble.

Bobby Mann auctioning another priceless bauble.

Henry Ziegler's attempt to be the highest bidder and intimidated Denise and Dennis Nelson....................he won the prize!

Henry Ziegler’s attempt to be the highest bidder and intimidated Denise and Dennis Nelson………………..he won the prize!

Alan Chen, Michele Zabel, Theresa McGowan, and Chuck Pasco.............all enjoying the auctioneers antics!

Alan Chen, Michele Zabel, Theresa McGowan, and Chuck Pasco………….all enjoying the auctioneers antics!

White Cyclamen plants were decorated with burgundy colored accents to match the table-linens and the beautiful place cards also matched the decor. Michele Zabel�s artistic and detail-oriented talent added glitter and elegance to the festive gathering. It was a real treat to see so many people contribute, help, and work together. The big winner of the 50:50 raffle was Ellen Arthur. Everyone else�s reward came in the form of the Tiramisu dessert that ended the lovely 4 course meal.

Happy Holidays, Good Cheer, and to All a Good Night!

Written by Denise Nelson

Photographs by Bill Scherlag

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