Eliza Diforio loses the first one but gets a second chance

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - DETERMINED - Eliza Diforio hugs the pillow she hoped to win in a recent Deer Creek Elementary silent auction fundraiser; another family won the pillow, but the teacher who made it offered to sew another one for the auction, which Eliza won.Deer Creek Elementary's Silent Auction and "Bikinis and Surfers" Family Dance on April 4 earned nearly $11,000, according to volunteer Carole Diforio.

"This was the first time the events have been combined, and it was very successful," she said. "Approximately 200 items were auctioned, including fantastic community donations such as Timbers' tickets, dinners, golf clubs and gift certificates for groceries and salon services. Theme baskets created by each classroom, teacher experiences and party boards were also big sellers."

In addition, the event also included a 50/50 raffle.

Diforio's daughter, fourth-grader Eliza, was helping her mom set up for the silent auction after school that day, fell in love with an animal pillow made by Deer Creek kindergarten teacher Holly Rendell and hoped to place the winning bid.

Eliza eventually won the pillow but only after enduring a suspense-filled evening.

"The pillow was very popular and had many bids within the first 15 minutes after people started arriving," Diforio said. "One family bid several times, then went straight for the 'Buy it now' option, which was available on each item.

"When the artist heard the pillow was already gone, she offered to create a second pillow. A new bid sheet was created, and several people again bid on the pillow, including our family.

“Eliza was given a dollar amount that she could not exceed, and she camped out by the pillow for the last 20 minutes of the auction.

"At the countdown to auction ended ("Auction closes in three, two, one."), Eliza placed the winning bid. Eliza was happy, Ms. Rendell was happy, and on Tuesday after the auction, Eliza found her new pillow sitting at her desk when she got to school."

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