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Silent Auction + Scholarships= Mutualism!

EENC's Annual Conference has always had the goal of bringing together educators for idea sharing, networking, and an overall good time. For over 30 years, the conference has celebrated the different regions of the state, highlighting the amazing EE Centers and natural areas from the mountains in the west to the coastal plain of the east, and everything in between. As the organization has grown, and more educators across the state have come to rely on the Annual Conference as a keystone gathering to explore best practices in Environmental Education, the importance of financial access has become critical.

Each year one of the highlights of the conference has been the Silent Auction. Dozens of items are donated by local and regional businesses and artists. Even members of the EENC community bring items of their own creation like pottery, needlefelting, and quilts. These "celebritEEs" have created such a following that conference attendees come to wait around the tables to see what that year's donated items will be! From the opening of the auction after the welcoming remarks, to the close just before the banquet, conference goers stop by the tables to bid on items and check to see if a friend has tried to out-bid them since their last walk through. Now in our digital age, in addtion to the live items, attendees can find some bigger ticket items on our online auction platform: beach houses, winery tours, and zoo passes, OH MY!.

All this FUN-draising serves a bigger purpose: to fill the Conference Scholarship Fund. In the last five years alone, EENC's Silent Auction has raised over $15,000. This has financially supported 109 conference registrations for either full attendance or partial attendance. This also includes the Inclusion Scholarship, provided to support racial equity in the field of Environmental Education in North Carolina. So when great stuff is donated, great money is raised, and the great people of our community are able to attend the conference. The Scholarship Application is open now through July 5.

Conference registration opens on June 10! Will you be the first one registered? Don't forget to check the box "Yes" for bringing a Silent Auction item to support the Scholarship Fund, and who knows, maybe you'll be the next "celebritEE"!


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