The story behind For Cici: BGG's biggest charity auction ever
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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The charity auction that just ended Monday http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/42357 was an amazing, memorable BGG experience for everyone involved.

This list is a big thank you to everyone who helped raise over $10,500 (the number keeps going up because people are adding to their donations!) for our sweet little Cici.

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1. Board Game: Inspiration [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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It all started when I happened to read a comment Matthew Fischer

Matthew Fischer
United States
Wheat Ridge
Colorado
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made about an accident his daughter had, on a geeklist Jim Anderson did called "Things I Didn't Lose in the Fire" http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/41726

Usually, I would read something like that, and think, "That sounds terrible," and go on. I didn't know Matt personally or even through BGG. However, something compelled me to look at mfischer's profile.
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2. Board Game: Online: Internet Card Game [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:14716]
Carol Carpenter
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Once there, I found the Fischer family blog http://colofisch.blogspot.com/
that described the story of Cici, and, like anyone without a heart made of coal, I was incredibly touched. Plus, I saw that cute face. Once you see Cici, you are under her spell!

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3. Board Game: What Shall I Be? The Exciting Career Game for Boys [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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I'm the mother of a 5 year old boy who was diagnosed with autism a couple of years ago and who is now doing incredibly well. I credit an intensive program early on with literally "rewiring" his brain. Scientists are discovering all the time that the brain is much more flexible and "plastic" than we thought. Like Cici's mother Jenny has written ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/408308 ), Cici won't be "cured" and I don't believe my son's autism will ever be cured either. But there are many things we as parents can do; and if they are done early enough, they can make a big difference in minimizing the negative effects of our children's conditions. We certainly have to try.
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4. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: South Australian Charity Edition [Average Rating:2.75 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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I asked Matt if I could organize a charity auction for Cici. I told him that I would love to be really ambitious and raise something insane like $1,000.

Let me just add a word for each number of times the auction increased that:

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
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5. Board Game: Don't Panic! [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:12584]
Carol Carpenter
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After I told him that, though, I secretly had a little panic. "I hope I didn't lead him to expect too much. I've done two geeklist auctions before and each one raised $200." Then I would look again at the blog and the photos of Cici, and I said to myself, "It is time to stop being crazy old Ben Kenobi in the desert. I must become Obi-Wan."
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6. Board Game: Pop-Up Store Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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Massachusetts
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I decided to email the major game stores and some publishers asking for donations. To my utter delight, many got back to me within MINUTES. In less than 24 hours, I already had a bunch of gift certificates and games committed. And every one came with a personal note expressing good wishes for the Fischer family.

We as board gamers should really appreciate the stores that serve us. They are not huge corporate monoliths. They are mostly run by a single person or family who loves games as much as we do.

Many thanks to:
Gateplay Games
Blue Panther LLC
The Gamer's Armory
Cool Stuff Inc.
Wargame Depot
Boards & Bits
Mayday Games
Fair Play Games
Game Surplus
Thoughthammer
Get Your Fun On
Tanga
familywontplay
Boulder Games
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7. Board Game: Company [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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In addition to stores, I also contacted several game publishers. They are harder to get through to, and some of them like Days of Wonder state flat out on their web site not to ask for donations, so extra special thanks go to Eagle Games, Warfrog, and GMT Games. APE Games also jumped in during the auction with a great contribution.

I do want to especially thank Martin Wallace, whose contributions of two signed games brought in large donations. His modesty is such that when he said that the two games he would donate, Waterloo and After the Flood, are signed, limited editions, he added, "if that matters." Yes, it certainly mattered, Martin!
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8. Board Game: Crude: The Oil Game [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1761]
Carol Carpenter
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The auction got off to a great start thanks to

Aaron Brooks
United States
Maple Valley
Washington
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who offered up a sealed copy of one of the ultimate "grail" games, McMulti. This set the tone for what was to be, as a bidder recently put it, "an avalanche of generosity."
Donation after donation we saw people adding not just any game, but their most valuable, rare items.
Thanks Aaron!
and thanks
Donovan K. Loucks
United States
Providence
Rhode Island
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for the winning bid of $300.
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9. Board Game: Generosity [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
 
Carol Carpenter
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Many members of the BGG community donated items, so by the end we had 9 pages worth, with 214 items.

In the middle of an economic crisis, we boardgamers became even more generous, in helping out "one of our own."

While everyone's contributions are appreciated, I want to thank the two people (I won't name you, but you know who you are) who are unemployed, and still donated great games. On top of that, they each wrote to me, APOLOGETIC they couldn't offer more. Now that is the true spirit of giving.
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10. Board Game: Amazement [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
United States
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Massachusetts
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I think we all watched with amazement as the week went on at how many people were contributing, and how the bids climbed way above what was expected.

Given you have board gamers who love a good competition (and a good excuse to buy new games), the auction created what falloutfan said was "the perfect storm." So this is as good a time as any to pay tribute to the #1 bidder in the auction for Cici:

Joseph
United States
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He won Waterloo ($250), half a geekgold auction (more about that below) $500, and Empire Builder/Eurorails $125 for a grand total of $875 to the Cici Fund.

Along the way, he provided many amusing comments and colorful taunts that just raised the excitement level and giving bar of the whole auction. Thanks, Joseph!
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11. Board Game: Gold! [Average Rating:4.90 Overall Rank:13975]
Carol Carpenter
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Right away, there were two geeks who became the auction's main cheerleaders and helpers, my main dudes: kneumann and anglotiger. Let's start with Kent:

KAS
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Arlington
Virginia
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Kent's stroke of genius was asking the BGG community to tip entry #113 and that amount would be auctioned off. This allowed hundreds of people to participate who otherwise couldn't donate a game or keep up with the huge bids.

Kent's brilliant moves numbers 2 and 3 were to create a wall of recognition for various levels, and to get a special microbadge (designed by kevintlee) for tippers of 25 gg and above.

Little did he realize the deluge that would come, or the sweet madness of generosity it would touch off in falloutfan to commit $500. That record was busted soon after by the incredible bid by

Scott Minkoff
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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who, with a bid of $550 in falloutfan's fiendish plot to increase the contributions, split the pot o' gold. With that, Scott earned the distinction of the bidder with the single highest amount paid per item.
And since he also won another item for $20, that puts him in second place with $570 total donated to Cici's fund.

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12. Board Game: Gold Town [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
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I basically stole Kent's idea since I noticed that the geeklist itself was getting me some gold, so I started another one, intending it to be the "low cost" bargain alternative. At the start, it was just 29 gg, and it ended up giving

Richard Pardoe
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1080 geekgold, for his bid of $375, making him the 4th largest bidder overall.

Many people gave ALL the geekgold they had. It was like a scene from "It's a Wonderful Life."

One of my favorite bidder comments (from valthalion): "All my gold are belong to Cici."
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13. Board Game: Canal Mania [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1395]
Carol Carpenter
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Another cool thing that happened was that

Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
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added an extra incentive to bidders on the 3 copies of Galactic Destiny he donated: Canal Mania!
This smooth move netted the 3 entries $60 each.
Tom also posted in the forums encouraging bidders to visit the auction. Thanks, Tom!
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14. Board Game: Daddy Cool [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:8768]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
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As cool as Tom is, I have to give

Gerald Sunkin
United States
Maitland
Florida
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CSI: Cool Stuff, In Stock
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the title of Daddy Cool for this auction.

Not only did Cool Stuff Inc. donate the most number of items of any store (6 games and a gift certificate), which brought in $395 to the cause, but Jerry Sunkin was a major bidder on several items. He won Highway to the Reich, the generous donation from

Jeffrey D Myers
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Albuquerque
New Mexico
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and then wrote to him that he didn't think his winning bid of $125 was enough, so he was going to increase it to $200!
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15. Board Game: Geeks: The Convention [Average Rating:4.66 Overall Rank:14041]
Carol Carpenter
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Boston
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I cannot tell you how happy I was to see our beloved

Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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join in on the fun. In addition to contributing 1,000 geekgold, he also contributed a lovely BGG poker set, won by

Erik Henry
United States
Houston
Texas
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for $200, and a BGG journal.

He will also waive anyone's BGG commission for games donated for this auction!
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16. Board Game: A Bridge Too Far: ASL Historical Module 6 [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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OK, so we've seen how a single geekgold entry brought in more than I was expecting for the entire auction. But what was the second most valuable item? That game belonged to the person who donated the single most valuable item in the whole auction, and his name is

Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Like chachito, Todd inspired others to offer up their very best. With his permission, I'm quoting an email he sent when he first added the item: "I'm happy to help. Cici's just about the same age as my daughter, also a twin. It's pretty tough just thinking about what happened to her. An expensive game sitting around as tradebait doesn't help anybody."

Fortunately, it was not a bid too far for

Mark Carter
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Houston
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who won this for a record-breaking $400. Since Mark also won the We the People card set for $50, his total makes him the 3rd highest bidder overall in the auction.
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17. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:549]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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As long as we are on the topic of the single big items, here is the top 10 list.
1. #113 Geekgold auction $1050
2. A Bridge Too Far $400
3. #151 Geekgold auction $375
4. McMulti $300
5. Waterloo $250
6. Star Wars The Queen's Gambit $210
Contributed by
Jeremy Shelton
United States
Beaumont
Texas
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,
won by
Jeff Hiatt
United States
OFallon
Missouri
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, who at $325 total in his winning bids is 5th largest bidder overall in the auction.

7. BGG poker set $200
8. Himalya + expansion $200
Contributed by
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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, won by Vanhel
9. Warhammer lot $185
Contributed by
Jason Farris
United States
Citrus Heights
California
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, won by nighthawk326
10.Princes of the Renaissance $150
Contributed by N/A, won by Jorren.

but wait....This auction goes to 11! Twice!

11. Game Surplus $100 certificate $135
Contributed by Game Surplus, won by BigSpoon816
tied with
11. The Great Divide/Die Fugger/Animalia $135
Contributed by
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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, won by BigSpoon816.

and of course special mention again of Highway to the Reich, ending bid $125, actual amount $200.

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18. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:92] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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A shout out to two special contributors across the ocean.

Paul Lister
United Kingdom
London
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donated 2 de Mayo and offered to ship it free, from the U.K.

Greece
thessaloniki
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from Greece, added Zooloretto, and some more international flair with its winning bid of 25 Euros.
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19. Board Game: Multigame [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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OK, so who contributed the most (quantity) of items?
1. starspangledgirl (remember the panic? I ran around my house looking for stuff!)

2. the most awesome main dude, Jack
Jack K
United States
Shorewood
Wisconsin
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who kept a running tally of funds raised, gave me great suggestions, and used his special Jedi mind tricks to persuade everyone to give give give! He contributed 10 items.

3.
Matt Buckingham
United States
Berne
IN
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followed close behind, with a generous contribution of 9 items.

4.
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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As Above, So Below
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My books are forgeries. Nobody wrote them. - Philip K. Dick
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contributed 6 items.

5.
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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designer of our lovely microbadge and t-shirt, contributed 5 items,
as did mfischer.

6. 4 items each from icurmt2 and Landstander

7. 3 items each from tool, jpbartleby, jepp, sdonohue,historyguy71,meej, flabber23,Domhnall101,RoamDog,pmboos,kneumann

8. 2 items each from Aldie, Astinex,subhan,snoweel,kingmaker fan, Staban Tuek,diehard4life,DasViktor,TrojanDan,Xlyce,artfuldodge2, lordunborn,scoutmom,pepperhead
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20. Board Game: Philanthropist: A Window on the World of Painting [Average Rating:4.78 Unranked]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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It was so exciting to see the total amount hit $8,000, $9,000, and then I think when it was $9,500, the whole community just decided "We are going to push this to $10,000."

Personally, this was a great thing to organize. I have been a bit depressed for the last few months because I am looking for a job, and experiencing all those discouraging things like not getting called even for an interview, and all that usual stuff that's hard not to take personally even though I know it's a bad economic climate to be looking.

So in doing this, I feel at least I accomplished something good. Here's the kicker: the job the I'm looking for and can't get? Fund-raising. I'm a grant proposal writer.

THANKS everyone. I am proud to be a part of this community.
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