". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Monday, February 25, 2008


That's how much my husband single-handedly raised at a congregational dinner and auction held this past weekend to benefit our Lutheran church and day school.

So . . . considering that we have no possessions (excluding house and maybe cars) that would be capable of fetching such a sizable sum, the question arises, "How? How did he raise that kind of money?"

Well, you see, my husband is a musician, and a pretty good one at that. In fact, he is the chief musician (also known as cantor) at our church. So when he and other staff members were encouraged to come up with items or services they might donate for the auction, his thoughts naturally turned to musical considerations. And since he is also a gifted composer, it occurred to him that he might offer to compose an original piece of music--specifically, a hymn concertato--according to the specifications of the winning bidder.

Once bidding began, it became clear that this was going to be a popular item. So popular, in fact, that my husband was asked if he might consider donating not just one, but two compositions. He agreed, and in short order there were two winning bidders, each of whom had committed $2400 for a new concertato by my husband on the hymn of their choice.

But the observant reader points out that $2400 times two equals $4800, not $6100. So what of the other $1300? Well, also on the auction block this weekend was a hymn festival to be planned and executed by my husband (no doubt with plenty of help from the musicians of the parish). The winning bidder will be able to choose theme and hymns for the festival as well as designate a beneficiary for the free will offering that will be taken during the service (it is my understanding that the high bidder has already indicated his intention to make Lutheran Child and Family Services that beneficiary).

The fund-raising goal for this auction (which was a new thing for our church but which I predict will become a regular, perhaps even annual event) was $10,000 for the unified fund of the church and day school, with any amount above that goal designated for our organ repair fund. No wonder the cantor was especially motivated! Although the final figures are not yet available, I have no doubt we met and exceeded the $10,000. A tip of the hat to everyone who worked so tirelessly to make this event the success it was as well as to everyone who donated goods and services for the auction.

And to my husband . . . $6100 is a pretty impressive return on the time and talent that you will be investing in these projects, but I have to say that I'm not surprised, because in my book, you are positively priceless.


Marie N. said...

Great job! That's fantastic!

Susan K said...

I heard through the grapevine that gross receipts cleared $24,000!

SuperMom said...

Wow, congratulations! That's incredible!

Melody said...

Durn, Cheryl, we're supposed to go to Schaumburg to help Grandma move on the 8th! Maybe I can work something out...I'll keep you posted!

Anonymous said...

Delighted to hear this!!! WTG Phil! What a blessing this will be to your congregation in so many different ways.


Chris said...

Tell Phil congratulations!

elephantschild said...


And what clever ideas for an auction! Be sure to let us know when that hymn festival will happen, just in case we can come!