The giving season was in full swing as Little Rock-based Our House celebrated its 5th Annual Tie One On event. Over 400 Business and Community Leaders gathered for an evening of food, music, and bidding on the many fabulous aprons designed by local Arkansas artists. This event was designed to raise money for Our House, a non-profit organization that provides the working homeless–individuals and families–with shelter, housing, job training, education, free childcare, and summer youth programs, in order to equip them with the skills to be successful in the workforce, the community, and their own families.
Southwest Airlines, the Official Airline of Our House, brought some added excitement to the live auction portion of the evening when three travel packages along with the Freedom to Travel Apron, designed by Little Rock Customer Service Agent Jan Young, went on the auction block. The first travel package containing two roundtrip tickets anywhere on Southwest coupled with the Southwest apron quickly escalated in price—$300 jumped to $800 and then $1,400 until Auctioneer Jay Scott yelled “sold” to final bidder of $1,750, Anne. As the proud new owner of a fabulous travel apron and two roundtrip tickets, Anne quickly donned her new travel apron for everyone to see. In meeting Anne and her husband after the auction closed, it was great to hear what big Southwest fans they already were. They even shared the fact that they both enjoy using their Southwest Airlines Visa card and love even more the points they earn by using the card. If we only had that TLC camera crew with us when we met the FUN couple!
Prior to the live auction, I was able to do one of the best things about my job—give away free tickets! It’s always so much fun to see the excitement in the winners’ faces. As a thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket to Tie One On, we decided to put each name in a bowl and draw one winner to take a trip on Southwest … just as a thank you for supporting Our House. It was certainly attendee Paul’s lucky night when he heard his name announced. He was right up front and if he had an aisle to run down, it would have been a true Price is Right moment. As we got to know Paul and his fiancée, Jennifer, we learned their wedding is planned for June 2012. I’m sure those roundtrip tickets will come in handy next year … maybe even help with a honeymoon?
What a special evening of celebrating not only local Arkansas Artists and the Spirit of Giving, but the wonderful work of Our House. Southwest was thrilled to be part of such a wonderful event! Thanks to the entire Our House Team, Event Committee, Volunteers, and Southwest Airlines Family in Little Rock who helped make the evening one to remember.
To learn more about Our House, visit www.ourhouseshelter.org.